The Continuous Decline in Voter Participation in Nigeria’s General Elections

By April 30, 2019Demography, Politics

Statistics from the last 6 presidential elections in Nigeria has shown a steady decline in voter turnout with many preferring to remain in their homes than going to the polls.

In 1999, out of about 58 million people who registered to vote, only 30 million (52%) turned up to vote during the presidential election. This is a far cry from the 35% of registered voters who participated in the 2019 presidential election.

From the chart below, the number of registered voters has seen a steady increase from 58 million in 1999 to over 82 million in 2019 (with the exception of 2015 where we had an 8% decrease in registered voters). However the same cannot be said about voters’ turn out, with 59% of the registered voters participating in presidential elections from 1999 to 2007 compared to just 44% recorded in the last three general elections.

The poor turn out of voters could be attributed to a number of factors some of which include; loss of faith in the electioneering process, election violence, voter’s inability to exercise their franchise from anywhere in the country and so on.

With the 2019 presidential election experiencing the lowest turnout of voters since 1999, it is highly imperative that all stakeholders work together to ensure that the election process becomes seamless, safe and more efficient for better participation by the electorates.

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