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Lesson Note

Subject: Civic Education

Topic:  Political Apathy

Lesson Objectives: by the end of the lesson, the learners should be able to:

  1. Define the term Political Apathy;
  2. Mention the forms of political apathy;
  3. State the reasons for political apathy;
  4. Suggest ways to reduce or eliminate political apathy;
  5. Define Recall and state when it is necessary.

Lesson Summary Aids: See reference materials below contents.


Lesson Summary / Discussion

Political apathy is the lukewarm attitude or total refusal of the citizens to participate in the political activities of the state. They are not willing neither are they interested in public activities such as voting.

Forms Of Political Apathy

  1. Refusal to vote during election.
  2. Unwillingness to join a political party.
  3. Refusal to register to vote during elections.
  4. Unwillingness to fight against electoral malpractices.
  5. Refusal to attend public protests/demonstrations.
  6. Refusal to attend political rallies and campaigns.

Reasons For Political Apathy

Citizens may refuse to participate in political activities as a result of the following reasons;
  1. Political Violence During Election: Most elections in Nigeria are characterized by all manner of violence, killings and maiming. This has discouraged many people from active involvement in political activities.
  2. Election Rigging: Many people are of the opinion that their vote will not count due to the manipulation of election figures and result. Hence, they stay aloof.
  3. Unfulfilled Political Promises: Political parties and government agents make political promises that are never fulfilled when they get into office. This has contributed to people’s refusal to get involved in political activities.
  4. Insecurity During Elections: Many potential electorates stay at home during voting exercise because they are not sure of the safety of their lives.
  5. Bad Governance: The general attitude of the government towards the masses has discouraged many people from participating in political affairs. Government agents live in affluence while the people that voted them into office live in abject poverty.
  6. Unhealthy Rivalry Between Political Parties: Members of different political parties see themselves as enemies because of their selfish interest to gain political power. They can go as far as eliminating their opponents by all means in order to win election. Hence, responsible people are discouraged from politics.
  7. Illiteracy: Most people are not politically educated. They lack the necessary skills and adequate knowledge to engage in political activities.

How To Reduce Political Apathy

  1. The body responsible for the conduct of elections should be independent and impartial in the conduct and discharge of its electoral duties.
  2. Government should ensure fulfillment of political promises to the people.
  3. Adequate security should be provided during election.
  4. Violent campaigns should be avoided during election campaign.
  5. People should be well educated about the political activities of their country and how they can be involved.
  6. Party faithful should stop seeing their political opponents as enemies.
  7. Government should be responsible and accountable to the people.

Recall is the process of calling back or removal of an elected representative from office by the electorates before the expiration of his tenure due to poor representation. Recall becomes necessary when the representative is performing below expectation or pursuing personal interest rather than the interest of the people. The concept of recall is only applicable to members of legislature. Presidents and governors are removed from office before their time through a process called impeachment.

If a constituency succeeds in recalling its representative from the legislative chambers, a by-election would have to be conducted to fill the vacant position.

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