Unmasking the barriers to citizen participation in political processes in Abuja, Nigeria

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Amba, Keteh Etim
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University of Guelph

This thesis investigates the status of civic engagement in political elections in Nigeria by highlighting the dysfunctional, dispositional, and structural barriers which affect political participation. The extent of citizen participation in community activities and previous political elections in the Federal Capital Territory (F.C.T.) was assessed to describe the factors which influence non-participation. Qualitative and quantitative methods were applied in the study. Six interviews were conducted with regional institutional stakeholders from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Orientation Agency (NOA), and Action Congress (AC) and 93 questionnaires were administered to selected residents from Abuja Municipal, Gwagwalada, and Bwari Area Councils. The results of the study revealed that voter education, electoral malpractice, and institutional accountability were influencing factors. It was discovered that females participated less than males in civic activities. The results indicated one principal conclusion which necessitates for pragmatic and philosophical revisions of the concept of active citizenship in Nigeria.

Abuja, Nigera, Citizen participation, Political processes, Barriers, Elections