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How determined Nigerian politicians rig elections

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Electing leaders for political workplace by way of the ballots ideally permits residents to take away underperformers and exchange them with candidates voters presume can get the job accomplished. However this isn’t how the politicians in Nigeria’s corridors of energy see elections.

To stay in energy for so long as they need, Nigerian politicians have devised a number of technique of interfering with the electoral course of for their very own achieve. These unlawful interventions occur earlier than, throughout and after voting takes place.

Because the 2023 normal elections strategy, Pulse presents you with all of the rigging methods within the books of Nigeria’s determined politicians.


Militarisation of opponent’s stronghold

Deploying navy personnel to sure areas within the guise of safety is without doubt one of the examined technique of rigging elections and may solely be accomplished by a authorities already in energy.

The heavy presence of navy personnel particularly within the stronghold of an opposition candidate might instill worry within the minds of the voters within the space and discourage them from exercising their constitutional rights.

Oftentimes, the worry of troopers roaming the streets causes rigidity and voter apathy which in flip reduces the probabilities of the opposition candidates within the space.

Vote shopping for


Vote shopping for is the most typical election rigging observe in Nigeria. It entails politicians or their brokers dashing cash or meals gadgets to the voters in alternate for his or her votes, particularly on election day.

This observe subsists primarily as a result of a lot of the voters who promote their votes, particularly in rural communities, are handicapped by multidimensional poverty, which in flip drives their lack of belief within the electoral system.

Snatching of poll packing containers

Poll field theft is just like the grandfather of all electoral malpractices in Nigeria — it’s most likely the primary election rigging technique identified to Nigerians.

Snatching poll packing containers entails utilizing thugs to disrupt the election course of in polling models in a rival candidate’s stronghold.


The purpose of the sponsors of the thugs is to make sure the Impartial Nationwide Electoral Fee (INEC) cancels the votes of their opponents in such areas.

Thugs should not solely helpful for stealing poll packing containers throughout elections. Generally, they’re employed to scare the voters within the space of their sponsor’s opponents by inflicting chaos.

To make sure no vote is recorded for his or her grasp’s rival in sure areas, the thugs could assault the polling models within the space, destroy election supplies and chase voters in addition to INEC officers away.


Cash performs a major function in electoral manipulations and this isn’t even a Nigerian phenomenon.

With a purpose to have the outcomes go their method, determined politicians often supply cash and typically properties to electoral officers. They might additionally go so far as bribing safety operatives and corps members whom INEC deploy as ad-hoc employees for elections.

Manipulation of outcomes

One other frequent technique of rigging elections in Nigeria is the manipulation of the figures collated from wards by compromised INEC employees in connivance with social gathering brokers.

This association is a bit troublesome to execute particularly if the voters at ward ranges retains data of the votes.


Nonetheless, if the compromised INEC official succeeds in manipulating the figures, the rigging could stand. This sort of manipulation is more durable to drag off as of late with the introduction of expertise just like the Bimodal Voter Registration System (BVAS).

Intimidation of INEC officers

Rigging elections may be very simple for high politicians in sturdy political events, particularly if the rigger is a sitting governor or lawmaker. The rigger could threaten or intimidate INEC employees to declare him/her the winner of the election.

This performed out within the 2019 normal elections when a returning officer, Ibeabuchi Harmless, claimed he was compelled to declare the outgoing governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha, because the winner of the Imo West senatorial election.

These are numerous means by which Nigerian politicians rig elections and drive themselves on the individuals.


However because the 2023 normal elections strategy, Nigerians hope the conduct of the polls will likely be clear, clear, and free from all of the irregularities they’ve witnessed within the earlier elections.