ASSESSMENT OF THE LEVEL OF AWARENESS OF THE ELECTORATE OF THE MANIFESTOS OF MAJOR political PARTIES IN NIGERIA
ASSESSMENT OF THE LEVEL OF AWARENESS OF THE ELECTORATE OF THE MANIFESTOS OF MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES IN NIGERIA
The study sought to investigate the electorate's political awareness of Nigerian politics in the Kosofe Local government Area of Lagos State. In this study, relevant and related literature reviews were conducted under specific subheadings. Similarly, the study used the descriptive research survey design to analyse respondents' attitudes through the use of a questionnaire and sample technique.
In this survey, 200 (two hundred) respondents (100 males and 100 females) were chosen to represent the overall community. Five research questions and five null hypotheses were proposed, developed, and tested using the Pearson product moment correlational coefficient tool and independent t-test statistics at the 0.05 level of significance.
At the end of the exercise, the following results emerged: there is a relationship between voters' awareness of party manifestoes and voters' voting patterns in Nigeria; there is a significant relationship between awareness of party manifestoes
and voters' attitudes in an election; there is no significant gender difference in the voting pattern of the electorate due to awareness of party manifestoes in Nigeria; and there is a significant relationship between voters'
It was recommended, among other things, that all elective parties ensure that the electorate is aware of what their parties' manifestos are prior to the elections so that the electorate knows which part has the best manifestos to vote for, and that parties seeking elections from voters always raise awareness with the electorate.
1.1 Background for the Study
Democracy is defined as a form of governance in which the entire body of free citizens exercises power directly or indirectly through a system of representation, as opposed to a monarchy, aristocracy, or oligarchy.
According to Nnaemeka-Agu (2000:20), democracy is a competitive political system in which competing leaders and organisations define different public policy options in such a way that the public can participate in decision making.
According to Onyenke (2007), individuals, particularly the public, must be conscientized and sensitised to the manifestos of political parties seeking votes.
For example, individuals should be aware of the incentives available for voting for a specific candidate based on their understanding of the candidate's political party manifestos.
The primary political parties competing for election positions were the Peoples' Progressive Party (PDP), the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress of Political Change (CPC), the All Nigerian People's Party (ANPP), and the All Peoples' Progressive Alliance (APGA).
The above-mentioned political parties have diverse manifestos, which serve as the guiding principles for the parties seeking elections in the country. For example, the Peoples' Democratic Party's manifestos stated that they would provide uninterrupted electricity,
robust economic revival and strengthening, portable water, an abundant food supply through the revival and sustenance of agriculture in the country, an increase in education, job creation, and women's empowerment.
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) manifestos primarily focus on providing employment for all, youth empowerment, free primary education, funding for tertiary education in Nigeria, economic revival, leadership by example, provision of electricity, good roads, water supply, and so on.
The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has manifestos that focus on providing facilities like as water and power, employing youths, increasing salaries, providing food and shelter, and combating corruption.
The All People's Grand Alliance (APGA) promised in their manifestos to provide portable water, electricity, the pursuit of human rights, free and fair elections in the country, abundant food provision through mechanised agriculture, good roads through constant road maintenance, and the development of a robust economy for Nigeria, among other things.
The All Nigerian Peoples' Party (ANPP) has manifestos that focus on economic well-being, energy provision, quality education, prudent use of national resources, a good road network, food provision, and assurance of human rights and privileges, among other things (Field Work, 2011).
The question is, are the electorate aware of these stipulations in Nigeria's political party manifestos? To what extent did people vote for the parties of their choice based on their apparent understanding of the political parties' manifestos? If they were unfamiliar with the political parties' manifestos, how did this effect their voting patterns?
According to Uzomah (2010:70), the bulk of Nigeria's voter is uninformed and thus unaware of the manifestos of Nigeria's major political parties. Those who do know the manifestos of the political parties did not look between the lines to determine which party's manifesto is superior to the others.
Furthermore, Njoku (2009:40) believes that 70% of Nigeria's public is unaware of the major political parties' manifestos. He based his argument on the notion that the majority of potential voters in the country are illiterate.
Not only that, but Njoku believed that, aside from ignorance caused by a lack of education, there were no enlightenment activities in place to raise political knowledge regarding the political manifestos of Nigeria's major political parties.
He went on to say that due to a lack of knowledge, many electorates were unaware of the manifestos offered by the main political parties competing in Nigeria's elections.
According to Unduru (2008:35), making the electorate aware of political party manifestos is beneficial since it allows them to know how to vote and which party to vote for based on the best manifestos. As he puts it, in other advanced countries, there is enough political awareness of the political manifestos of any party that contests elections,
so that people know which party to vote for, but in Nigeria, people hardly know which political parties exist, and they vote without knowing the party's manifestos.
It means that the electorate votes for parties and individuals without knowing what the individuals who represent their respective parties will provide if elected. It's no surprise that Nigerians continue to criticise the lack of effective leadership following each election.
1.2 statement of the Problem
The challenges that arise from the electorate's ignorance of the provisions in the manifestos of Nigeria's major political parties cannot be overstated. It goes without saying that the majority of Nigerian voters are unaware of the major political parties' manifestos prior to elections.
This can be ascribed to a lack of information transmission concerning party manifestos around the country. According to Anyanwu (2006:47), many voters are unaware of the political party manifestos.
The majority of voters who voted for one political party or the other had no idea what the parties they supported had in store for them before casting their ballots.
This is due to a lack of awareness and dissemination of relevant information regarding the manifestos of the parties in question. In any event, this has resulted in regrets, melancholy, and anger among the public, who are invariably dissatisfied after voting for persons and political parties in any Nigerian election.
The concerns identified above prompted an analysis of the electorate's awareness of the manifestos of Nigeria's major political parties.
1.3 Goal of the Study
The primary goals of this study include:
(1) Determine whether the electorate is aware of the manifestos of Nigeria's main political parties.
(2) Investigate voters' awareness of political party manifestos in Nigeria.
(3) Examine the electorate's level of political awareness before to voting in Nigerian elections.
(4) Make a distinction between the attitudes of people who are aware of party manifestos and those who are not.
(5) Differentiate between educated and uneducated electorates' views towards voting.
1.4 Research Questions.
This study will address the following research questions:
(1) Is the Nigerian electorate aware of the political party manifestos?
(2) What is the electorate's awareness of the main political party manifestos in Nigeria?
(3) How does voters' level of political awareness about party manifestos in Nigeria influence their voting patterns?
(4) How can we distinguish between the attitudes of people who are aware of political party manifestos and those who are unaware?
(5) To what extent can we discriminate between educated and illiterate voters' views towards voting?
1.5 Research Hypotheses.
The following null hypotheses will be developed in this study:
(1) There will be no significant association between voters' awareness of party manifestos and their voting behaviour.
(2) There will be no substantial association between awareness of party manifestos and voter sentiments during an election.
(3) The electorate's voting behaviour will not differ much based on gender due to awareness of party manifestos.
(4) There will be no significant association between voters' awareness of party manifestos and their voting behaviour.
(5) There would be no major variation in the opinions of educated and uneducated voters in Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study's findings and recommendations would benefit the individuals listed below:
(1) The electorate: They will gain information into the level of understanding of party manifestos in Nigeria. This is because this research will teach them that being informed of party manifestos will assist them vote in any national election.
(2) Politicians will learn from this study that in order to win a credible election in Nigeria, they must have good manifestos that benefit the voters. The recommendations of this study will allow politicians to make their party manifestos available to the voters prior to voting in elections.
(3) This study will raise awareness among individuals in society by educating them about party manifestos. This is because many people in Nigeria are unaware of party manifestos, and some are unwilling to learn about them before voting.
(4) This investigation will advance societal knowledge. Again, it will be useful as reference material for researchers and academicians alike.
(5) The insights gained from this study will assist politicians in developing effective manifestos when running for political positions in the country.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study assesses the electorate's awareness of major political parties in Lagos State, Nigeria.
1.8 Definition of Terms
(1) The Electorate: This term refers to eligible voters or individuals who have the right to vote in any national election and are at least 18 years old. The electorate are those who vote in an election to determine who will rule them.
(2) Party Manifestoes: This refers to a written document that provides plans of action for what a political party intends to do after being elected to power in a country's general election. Manifestos are a political party's plans of action that assist voters in choosing the party with the finest manifestos that address development challenges.
(3) Political Awareness: This refers to the information provided to citizens about the establishment of political parties and what they have in store for the voters and the nation as a whole.
(4) Monarchy: A monarchical arrangement is one in which a single ruler leads a state or kingdom, and the rulership is passed down to a king's relative upon death or incapacitation. It refers to an absolute rule of a state.
(5) Aristocracy: This term refers to administration by the highest social rank; it is the ruling body of nobles; the social class from which these nobles derive.
(6) Oligarchy: A country with a government run by a small group of all-powerful individuals.
(7) Democracy: This term refers to a government that is run by and for the people. This is a government in which the masses wield significant power. A system in which the electorate or the masses have more power and choose who governs them.