Ethno-Religious Identity and Voter Environments of 2011, 2015 and 2019 Presidential Elections in Nigeria
A Cross Sectional Analysis
Keywords:Elections, ethno-religious, regionalism, voter environment
ascinating process replete with identity consciousness and euphoria. Scholarly review illuminates obvious gaps in issues and sentiments of voter environment to establish the functionality of ethno-religious identity in voting behaviour of Nigerians in presidential elections. This study therefore examines issues underlying ethno-religious identity in the voter environments of 2011, 2015 and 2019 presidential elections in Nigeria. The methodology of this discourse is exploratory research design with emphasis on documentary and Key Informant interview as sources of data collection. Thus, sample size of 36 Key Informants were selected from the six regions of the federation through purposive-random sampling procedure and interviewed in face-to-face interaction, telephone communication, Focus Group Discussion etc where responses and empirical data gathered were documented, presented and content- analyzed. The study revealed that voter environments of 2011, 2015 and 2019 presidential elections were immersed in varied scale and intensity of ethno-religious consciousness among millions of Nigeria voters which stemmed from the identity background of candidates of frontline political parties. It therefore concluded that many Nigerians are very conscious and interested in the ethno-religious identities of candidates of frontline political parties in a presidential election amid other issues or narratives. Hence, this study therefore recommends citizens’ interest in national governance expectations, legitimization of zoning principle, strict enforcement of presidential campaign guidelines amid other fundamentals in effort to strengthen Nigeria’s electoral democracy.