HIGH COST OF ELECTIONEERING IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the Study
Tradition of electioneering campaigns in Nigeria too often inclines towards the bandwagon syndrome. Of course, this is because the electorates are bedevilled by poverty and limited access to quality education. The electioneering seasons in Nigeria are normally times for publicity-blitz designed to sway the electoral masses. This electioneering publicity is rampantly found in media and particularly, in the social networks that enjoy a boom during electioneering seasons. The cost for electioneering campaigns is now on the increase as well as outrageous. In fact, Nduneche (2015) reported that according to data gathered from different agencies and reports from advertisement regulatory bodies, five days before the March 28th elections, advertising cost political parties, friends and well wishers of those seeking elective office a princely sum of 4.9billion naira.
Money is fundamental if political parties want to be seen to be performing their statutory obligations within their respective spaces. Without the necessary funds, it would be certainly difficult for politicians and political parties to articulate and showcase their ideas and visions to the electorate. Political parties, therefore, require funds to be able to sell their programmes and manifestoes to the public. It is only by so doing that the electorate can make informed choices about which political party to support or not. Highlighting the importance of funding, Doorenspleet (2003) postulated that, funding determines the number of campaign staff, the number of vehicles to reach voters in the country, the amount of advertising on radio and television. In a nutshell, funding can substantially aid party institutionalization. Unfortunately, party funding, especially campaign financing globally but particularly in most African countries is fraught with despicable levels of corruption. Kura (2011) argued that the manner in which parties fund their activities has been quite embarrassing. He stressed that series of corruption scandals have affected parties and their leaders. He pointed out that in Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom (UK), parties have been involved in funding scandals and violation of funding regulations. Similarly, studies have evidently documented the growing increase in corruption through political party funding.