The Influence of Religion on Voting Pattern During the 2011 Presidential Election in Fagge Local Government Area of Kano State, Nigeria
Posted: 23 Sep 2013
Date Written: September 18, 2013
Religion is crucial in Nigerian politics, the structure and substance of politics in the country revolves around it. Since independence, the voting behavior of Nigerians has reflected religious instinct such that in virtually all the elections conducted in the country, the voting pattern has often towed along religious lines. During the 2011 general elections, the two major presidential candidates that contested, President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a Christian, and General Mohammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), a Moslem, practically pitched the religious cleavages within the Nigerian electorate against each other. Did religion influence the pattern of voting in the Moslem-dominated Fagge local government during the 2011 presidential election? What are the consequences of the mold of voting during the 2011 presidential election on democratic stability in Nigeria? A research conducted in Fagge Local Government Area (LGA) of Kano State Nigeria investigated these questions and found that Nigerian voters resident in Fagge LGA have the propensity to vote along religious lines but this tendency is more prevalent among Muslims than Christians. It revealed that even though the electorate in Fagge overtly denounces the consideration of religious background of candidates during election; on election day, votes were cast to reflect religious prejudices of the voters. It recommends extensive political education, good political leadership and transparent elections for Nigeria to overcome the influence of religion on her electoral process.
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