Political Apathy: A Worrisome Impediment to Electoral Process in Nigeria



A large number of Nigeria citizens especially the elites seem to have lost interest in voting and have left the exercise for commercial drivers, farmers, market women, artisans, commercial motorcyclists etc. An election in which a large number of people refuse to participate may not reflect the will of the people. This study was conducted to determine causes of political apathy as perceived by secondary school teachers and suggest remedies to the menace. The study adopted descriptive research design with a sample of 400 secondary school teachers selected through multi stage sampling procedure with two research questions and one hypothesis. A self-designed questionnaire titled ‘Political Apathy Questionnaire (PAQ)’ was the instrument used for data collection. The instrument was validated by experts and tested for reliability with 0.71 coefficients. Data collected were descriptively analysed while the hypothesis was tested using t-test analysis at 0.05 level of significance. Finding of the study revealed that teachers perceived all forms of electoral malpractice and bad governance as some of the causes of political apathy. Finding also showed good governance/leadership and enabling environment for free and fair election among others as perceived remedies to political apathy in Nigeria. The hypothesis showed no significant difference in the causes of political apathy as perceived by male and female secondary school teachers. Based on the findings, it was recommended among others that government and electoral bodies should employ different approaches to enlighten the citizens on the danger of political apathy and the need for active participation in political activities so as to ensure that credible, reputable and responsible citizens emerge as leaders.

Keywords: Apathy, politics, impediment, participation, electoral process, democracy

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/10-4-09

Publication date: February 29th 2020

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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