Human Insecurity and the Challenge of Voter Turnout at Elections in Nigeria 1999-2019

Andza, Moses Saa-Aondo (2022)


Nigeria’s Fourth Republic has successively witnessed decline in voter turnout at elections. This is in spite of the humongous amount of money expended on the conduct of elections in the country. Although authors have explored the situation, human insecurity as a causative factor of the phenomenon seems not to attract their attention. This paper therefore explores human insecurity in Nigeria and the seeming intractable challenges it poses to voter turnout at elections in the country. Analytical research method was employed for this study and the social contract theory espoused as a framework of analysis. The study found that human insecurity permeates Nigeria’s landscape as people are constrained by lack of economic wherewithal to meet life’s basic necessities and the fear of the avalanche of criminal elements in the country and even government security agents to turnout for elections. This, the paper found, has negatively impacted voter turnout as the percentages of voter turnout has declined from 52.26 percent in 1999 to 34.95 percent in the 2019 general elections. The paper concludes that voter turnout at elections in Nigeria may further decline if human insecurity in the country continues unabated. The paper recommends productive engagement of Nigeria’s most active population and redistribution of state resources to tame the clamour for resource control which often results to conflicts and/or crises that snowballs into human insecurity and consequently scare people away from elections.