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Electoral Behavior: Types of Voters in Nigeria
In few months to come Nigerians will be casting their votes in the 2019 elections.

One of the things we should be talking about right now is why people vote and for whom they vote for. Some people think Nigerians only vote based on ethnicity and religion. However, the voting behaviour is not so one-directional. Few years ago (2011), in Lagos, Christians voted for Babatunde Fashola as well as Muslims did. Yoruba people voted for Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in Lagos, but voted for Ribadu in Osun. The point is, the voting patterns don’t fit a narrow spectrum, and various things determine the choices Nigerians make when they cast their ballot. These are six types of voters that are most prevalent in Nigeria.

  • The revolutionists  
These people really just want one thing: change. Every other thing is negligible to them. Their belief is that the incumbent is the problem and that having someone new there will be the solution. These people have concluded that things won’t ever be better if the incumbent continues to run the government. So they'll vote for any candidate except the incumbent in order to kick the incumbent out and produce a change.

  • The partisans  
These ones often vote in adherence to their favourite party. For them it’s not really about the candidate. It’s about the party. They will vote for anyone their favourite party brings forward. They’re convinced that their party is the answer to the problems in the country and that anyone this party presents is the suitable candidate. This is whom they’ll vote for. No matter what they learn about this party, they’re convinced that it’s better than the others and that voting for this party is the wise choice to make.

  • The ethnicists  
Ethnicists aren’t chiefly interested in partisanship or change. Their loyalty is to the candidate whose tribe, religion or S*x matches theirs. In other words, they want to vote for their own person. This person may not be the most qualified or the most fit for the position. But since he or she is their person, it’s whom they want to vote for.

  • The devotees
Devotees are inclined towards the man of the people. They support charismatic people, someone who bonds with them or whose personality they simply love. These people don’t look at the party or religion or ethnicity of the person they’re voting. They admire the person because of his character, his attitude towards people and his public image and they just feel endeared to him. If this candidate moves from one party to another, they’ll still support him in the new party as they would have done if he was in the former party. They’re devoted to specific candidates more than anything else.

  • The sophisticated  

These ones are fastidious about politicians and rarely commit to anyone. They like to ask questions and examine candidates very carefully before voting for anyone. They don’t just go with the crowd or follow sentiments. They ask questions. They look at the facts. They check the records. They observe the candidates. They actually think about the person’s ideas and ideology before making a choice. They’re hard to win over, but they’re often ardent in their support when they commit to someone. nigeria-elections

  • The cynics  

The cynics think everyone on the ballot paper is unsuitable, that they’re all the same corrupt and incompetent people and that it doesn't matter whom you vote for anyway. They feel it’s going to be the same story at the end of the day and that nothing will change. They tend to think of voting as choosing between the lesser of two evils. They may or may not vote. But when they vote, it’s often out of obligation, not because they feel strongly about voting or feel strongly about voting for anyone on the list. They're convinced that it’s not going to change anything.

Analysing voting behaviour helps us understand how people make up their minds about whom to vote for. It helps us determine how much progressing we're making as a democracy and how well the electorate is making the right choices that will contribute to the development of the country. But whatever the pattern, the point is, people should be voting for what's best for them and what’s best for their society.

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