Nigeria’s democracy is under threat following growing trend of vote buying and selling in elections. Capacity, competence and character are not parameters for assessing electoral candidates. Cash-for-vote or ‘see and buy’ is emerging as the major determinant of electoral choice. Besides being illegal as explicitly stated in Nigeria’s electoral laws, vote buying also has a tendency to aggravate corruption in public offices as those who hold public mandates are made to seek corrupt means of enriching themselves towards future elections. This menace is undermining electoral choices and could imperil Nigeria’s democracy if not abated. Vote buying is gradually replacing anti-polls or rigging tactics of politicians.
This is attributed to checks and balances in the electoral process that has made electoral brigandage unattractive to politicians. Vote buying is the latest strategy adopted by politicians undermine the electoral process. This was evident in the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti state where politicians deployed multiple tactics to buy votes at the polling stations.