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Sunday, September 17, 2023

21 Ways Elections Are Manipulated in Nigeria That Journalists and Observers Should Pay Attention to

Elections in Nigeria have been marred by various forms of manipulation, including electoral fraud, vote rigging, and violence. The manipulation of elections is often driven by a desire to gain power, maintain power, or secure resources, and it is a pervasive problem that affects both national and local elections. Against tomorrow’s polls, WikkiTimes highlights 21 ways the elections could be manipulated that the media and elections observers should pay keen attention to. The list is not exhaustive, however. 

  1. Voter Intimidation: Intimidation of voters is a common tactic used to manipulate election outcomes in Nigeria. This could include threats of violence, harassment, or other forms of coercion.
  2. Ballot Box Snatching: Ballot box snatching is a notorious form of electoral malpractice in Nigeria, where political thugs steal ballot boxes to manipulate election results.
  3. Vote Buying: Vote buying is a widespread practice in Nigerian elections, with political parties and candidates offering cash and other incentives in exchange for votes.
  4. Fake Voter Registration: Fake voter registration is a tactic used by political parties to inflate their vote count. This could include creating fake voter IDs or registering fake voters.
  5. Underage Voting: Underage voting is a practice that has been known to occur in Nigerian elections, where minors are allowed to vote.
  6. Voter Suppression: Voter suppression is a tactic used by political parties to prevent certain groups of voters from participating in the election. This could include intimidating voters, denying them access to polling stations, or manipulating voter registration rolls.
  7. Disenfranchisement: Disenfranchisement is a tactic used to prevent eligible voters from casting their votes. This could include purging voter rolls, requiring specific forms of identification that certain groups may not have, or closing polling stations in certain areas.
  8. Electoral Violence: Electoral violence is a common occurrence in Nigerian elections, where political thugs engage in violent acts to influence election outcomes.
  9. Manipulation of Election Results Sheets: The manipulation of election results is a tactic used to alter the outcome of an election. This could include rigging the vote count, altering voter registration rolls, or hacking into electronic voting systems.
  10. Collusion with Electoral Officials: Collusion with electoral officials is a tactic used by political parties to rig elections. This could include bribing officials or manipulating the vote count in collusion with them.
  11. Misuse of State Resources: Misuse of state resources is a tactic used by incumbent politicians to gain an unfair advantage. This could include using government resources to campaign or using state security forces to intimidate opponents.
  12. Media Bias: Media bias is a tactic used to manipulate public opinion in favour of a particular candidate or political party. This could include biased reporting, censoring opposing views, or publishing false information.
  13. Disinformation Campaigns: Disinformation campaigns are a tactic used to spread false information in order to influence election outcomes. This could include spreading rumours or false stories about candidates, parties or issues.
  14. Voter Impersonation: Voter impersonation is a tactic used to cast illegal votes by pretending to be someone else. This could include using fake IDs or stealing someone else’s identity.
  15. Pre-election Violence: Pre-election violence is a tactic used to intimidate opponents and suppress voter turnout. This could include attacks on political rallies or campaign events.
  16. Intimidation of Electoral Officials: Intimidation of electoral officials is a tactic used to influence election outcomes. This could include threatening or bribing officials to manipulate the vote count.
  17. Bribing Party Agents and Observers: Bribing party agents and observers is a tactic used to manipulate election outcomes by influencing those who monitor the election process.
  18. Inducement of Voters: Inducement of voters is a tactic used to influence voter behaviour by offering them gifts or other incentives to vote a certain way.
  19. Voter Apathy: Voter apathy is a tactic used by political parties to suppress voter turnout by convincing voters that their vote does not matter or that the election is rigged.
  20. Non-Neutral Security Agencies: Non-neutral security agencies are a tactic used by incumbent politicians to manipulate the election process.
  21. False Declaration of Results: False declaration of election results: This involves falsely declaring election results in favour of a certain candidate or party, despite evidence to the contrary.


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