Political apathy is one of the major challenges of democracy in Nigeria today. In this article, we will treat some of the reasons for political apathy in Nigeria, we will also cover the types of apathy in Nigeria and also their main causes.
What is political apathy?
Political apathy can be defined as the situation where the majority of the populace show an attitude of apathy or lack of interest towards politics. It is usually a case where a person shows no interest in the matters and state of politics in his or her country. This means that he or she does not care about political parties, politicians, electoral processes, and even governance as a whole. Political apathy may be in three forms or types
- Apathy due to lack of information.
- Apathy due to lack of interest.
- Voter apathy.
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Political apathy is common among most Nigerians and it keeps increasing every year. The most common is lack of interest and voter apathy. Political apathy in Nigeria is expressed in so many different ways:
- Many Nigerians refuse to belong to or support any political party.
- The low turn-out of Nigerians who are eligible to vote for the voters’ registration process.
- The poor turn-out of voters during elections.
- Most Nigerians are not interested in protesting against bad governance and leadership in the country.
Causes of political apathy
There can be many reasons why people have a disinterest towards politics and governance. But here, we have listed major 10 reasons for political apathy in Nigeria:
- Rigging of elections. This is a major reason for the growing political apathy in Nigeria. Over the years, elections have been plagued with rigging and malpractices. And that is why most Nigerians don’t believe in elections.
- The popular belief that the votes don’t count. Most Nigerians believe that their vote do not count. This is one of the main reasons why a lot of Nigerian always refuse to turn out for voters registration. And during elections, most decide to stay back at home because of the general feeling and belief that their votes will have no impact on the outcome of the election.
- Lack of credible candidate. Since the beginning of the post-military era, there has been a continuous cycle of politicians. People do not have so many options from which they vote.
- Current condition of governance. This is probably the number one reason for political apathy in Nigeria. The government has failed to provide good leadership and governance for the country, as a result, the level of apathy towards politics and governance has increased.
- Lack of trust in governance. This is different from the dislike of politicians. In this case, this is an issue of not believing in the way of governance and lacking the interest to see governance improve. Most people also have lost hope of a better governance and therefore a reason for their political apathy.
- Campaign violence. Due to the level of violence that always occur during the build-up to elections, most people stay away from electoral process for the safety of their lives. Also, the violence was seen during campaign always damage the credibility of most political parties and their candidates among the people. And because of this, the level of political apathy keeps growing.
- Chaos in the political system. In Nigeria today, there is so much chaos going in politics and in the government. They include political oppression and victimization, political infighting, etc.
- Weak security measures during elections. Most people believe that their votes are not secured during elections. This is as a result of the history of election rigging, snatching of ballot boxes, disruption of voting centres by thugs, etc. And as a result, people don’t participate in the voting process.
- Negative media coverage. There is a lot of negative media coverage of politics and governance which builds up disinterest among voters.
- Nigerians don’t like politicians. Large percentage of Nigerians don’t like politicians for so many reasons. But the number one reason is that they do not believe in them and see them as thieves, liars, thugs, and people who have no compassion for the populace.
What are the effects of political apathy in Nigeria?
Here is just a summary of some of the effects of political apathy in Nigeria:
- Politicians are not held accountable for their actions.
- Continued imbalance of power can lead to civil wars and revolutions.
- High level of corruption and lawlessness flourish in the country.
- Greedy politicians keep getting into power.
- The development of the country becomes very slows.
Political apathy is a serious challenge in Nigeria today. A lot of people and organisations are working hard to see its change. And unless there is an increasing level of interest towards political activities and elections, democracy might be in danger in Nigeria.