The Menace of Vote Buying in Nigeria Electoral System: Issues, Causes and Solutions 2015-2023

Vincent Eseoghene Efebeh, Benjamin Okhawere Ohis


Vote-buying and other forms of electoral inducements are common phenomenon in Nigerian politics. This is so because the average voter is not only poor but also illiterate and unable to resist the alluring effects of uncontrolled electoral gratifications that come in cash or kind or both. Vote-buying is inherently a derivation of election fraud. Vote buying is the root cause of bad governance and a facilitator of the imposition of the incorrect and incompetent group of individuals to fill positions in governance. This study examines the menace of vote buying in Nigeria electoral system with focus on the issues, possible causes and solution within a defined period. The study revealed that the ripple effects of vote-buying which sterns from bad governance includes the insecurity of lives and properties, wide spread corruption and general lack of accountability by the ruling elite. It further revealed that the menace breeds incompetent leadership, and incompetence breeds illiteracy, unemployment, and poverty. The paper suggests among other things that the deployment of modern technologies to enable prospective voters vote from their homes using their phones would be the game changer for future elections in Nigeria


Elections, vote, vote buying, menace, issues, money politics, Nigeria

Full Text:



Abba, S.,& Babalola, D. (2017). Contending issues in political parties in Nigeria: the candidate selection process. Journal of Pan African Studies, 11(1), 118–28.

Adekoya, R. (2019). The 1951 elections: how awolowo forced Azikiwe out of western Nigeria. Business Day. Retrieved from 6. 6 July, 2020.

Adigun, O. W. (2019). Vote buying: examining the manifestations, motivations, and effects of an dimension of election rigging (2015-2019). Canadian Social Science, 15(11), 20–28.

Ali, S. (2018). Votes on sales in several constituencies. Down.Com, Retrieved from July 24, 2022.

Aljazeera. (2019). India cancels polling in southern constituency over vote buying. Retrieved from August 18, 2021.

Alli, Y. (2016). EFCC traces Diezani’s $115m election bribery cash to stolen oil. Retrieved from May 6, 2020.’s-115m-election-bribery-cash-stolen-oil

Amao, O. B. (2020). Nigeria’s 3029 general election: what does it mean for the rest of the world? The Round Table, 109(4), 429–440.

Baidoo, F. L., Dankwa, S., & Eshun, I. (2018). Culture and vote buying and its implications range of incentives and conditions politicians offer to electorates. International Journal of Developing and Emerging Economics, 6(2), 1–20.

Bari, S. (2018). Vote buying: A curse of inequality. The Express Tribune, Retrieved from July 20, 2021.

Bassey, J. (2019). Militarisation of elections diminishes Nigeria’s democracy. Accessed 22 February 2023.

Bolanle, A. O. (2019). Vote buying and selling as violation of human rights: Nigerian experience. Retrieved from April 24, 2020.

Bryan, S., & Baer, D. (2005). Money in politics: A study of party financing practices in 22 Countries. National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. [Google Scholar]

Burnham, P., Gilland, K., Grant, W., & Layton-Henry, Z. (2004). Research methods in politics. London: Palgrave MacMillan.

Canare, T. A., Mendoza, R. U., & Lapez, M. A. (2018). An empirical analysis of vote buying among the poor: evidence from elections in the Philippines. South East Asia Review, 26(1), 58–84.

Cherry, K. (2018). What is reciprocal determinism? Very well Mind. Retrieved from August 16, 2019.

Chukwurah, D., Nnamani, E.D., & Nduba, O. (2022). The effect of vote buying and 2019 general elections in Nigeria. 2. 1-20.

Desposato, S. W. (2007). How does vote-buying shape the legislative arena? In F. C. Schaffer (Ed.), Elections for sale: The causes and consequences of vote buying (pp. 144–179). Lynne Rienner.

Efebeh, E. V. (2011). The State of Poverty in Nigeria: Bane and determinant of voting behaviour and standard of elections in Nigeria. UNILAG Journal of Business, 1 (3)

Efebeh, E. Vincent (2017). The Role of Interventionist Agencies in Addressing Poverty and Development Challenges in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria, Nigerian Journal of Management Sciences, 6(1), 384-392.

Efebeh, V. (2018). Public Procurement and Development in Africa, in Samuel O. Oloruntoba & Toyin Falola, The Palgrave Handbook of African Politics, Governance and Development, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, Pp. 573-583.

Efebeh, V. E. & Okereka, O.P. (2020).Nigeria-British relations: Implications for Nigeria in the post-Brexit era, Pal Arch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology. 17(7), Pp. 8811-8822.

Efebeh, V.E. (2020). The political economy of COVID-19 and its effects on global economy, International Journal of New Economics and Social Sciences, 11(1), Pp. 11-24.

Egwu, S. (2014). Internal Democracy in Nigerian Political Parties. In O. Obafemi (Ed.), Political Parties and Democracy in Nigeria. University Press.

Etzioni-Halevy, E. (1989). Exchange material benefits for political support: A comparative analysis. In D. Heidenheimer (Ed.), Political corruption: A handbook (pp. 287–304). Traction Publisher.

Federal Republic of Nigeria. (1999). Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Government Press.

Federal Republic of Nigeria. (2010). An Act to Repeal the Electoral Act 2006 and Re-enact the Independent National Electoral Commission Regulate the Conduct of Federal, State and Area Council Elections and for Related Matters, 2010. Government Press.

Felongco, G. (2019). Philippines elections: allegation of fraud, widespread vote buying emerged. Gulf News, Retrieved from August 14, 2021.

Gonzalez-Ocantos, E. de Jonge, C.K., Meléndez, C., Osorio, J., Nickerson, D.W. (2010). Vote buying and social desirability bias: experimental evidence from Nicaragua. Retrieved from August 1, 2022.

Heath, O., & Tillin, L. (2017). Institutional performance and vote buying in India. St. Comp Int. Dev, Retrieved from July 26, 2022.

Hicken, A., Leider, S., Ravanilla, N., & Yang, D. (2015). Measuring vote-selling: Field evidence from the Philippines. The American Economic Review, 105(5), 352–356.

Iroanusi, Q. E. (2019). Obasanjo attacks osinbajo says trader-moni an idiotic programme. Retrieved from July 13, 2022

NDI/NDI (2019). Nigeria International Election Observation Mission Final Report. Accessed from

Jensen, P. S., & Justesen, M. K. (2014). Poverty and vote buying: survey-based evidence from Africa. Electoral Studies, 33(1), 220–232.

Ejikeme Jombo Nwagwu, Onyinyeomachukwu Gift Uwaechia, Kingsley Chigozie Udegbunam & Rebecca Nnamani | Greg Simons (Reviewing editor) (2022) Vote Buying During 2015 And 2019 General Elections: Manifestation and Implications on Democratic Development in Nigeria, Cogent Social Sciences, 8:1, DOI: 10.1080/23311886.2021.1995237

Article Metrics

Abstract has been read : 225 times
PDF file viewed/downloaded: 0 times



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 Social Sciences, Humanities and Education Journal (SHE Journal)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

SHE Journal managed and published by Universitas PGRI Madiun (UNIPMA), Indonesia

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


View My Stats