Civic Education Paper 2, May/June 2014  
Questions: 1 2 3 4   Main
General Comments

Question 8

Question 8:     (a) Explain the term ‘political apathy’.
                        (b) State three consequences of political apathy.
                        (c) Highlight three ways through which political apathy can be
This was another popular question. All the candidates who attempted it performed very well. Nevertheless, some candidates deprived themselves of good marks by merely listing the points without further explanations. Candidates were expected to provide the following answers to the question:    

(i)         Political apathy is the lack of interest in politics and political activities by the citizens of a country. When citizens are not interested in the political programmes of a country due to one reason or the other, political apathy is said to have taken place, e.g. the cold feet Nigerians often develop during elections which makes them not to go out to vote could be regarded as political apathy.
(ii)        Political apathy is a form of indifference or nonchalance towards political activities by the citizens.
(iii)       It also means lack of enthusiasm or concern for politics and political activities by the people.

  1. It also refers to the tendency of some members of the society to shun political activities in their country, e.g. refusal to join political parties, register or vote in elections, dislike for political activities and so on.

                                (i)           Emergence of an undemocratic government: government that would emerge may
                                    not reflect the wishes of the people.
(ii)        Lack of accountability: there will be no accountability on the part of the
government because the people that are supposed to keep the government and the leaders in check have shown no interest in the affairs of the country.

  1. Mediocre leaders are likely to be in power if responsible/competent people refuse

to seek political offices.

  1. Corruption: corruption will set in when dishonourable people fill the vacuum

created by the absence of credible citizens.

  1. The government in power would not provide social amenities and infrastructural

facilities since it cannot be held accountable.

  1. Slow pace of political development: political apathy hinders proper political

participation which ultimately affects development.
(vii)      Minimal popular input in decision making processes.
(viii)     Problem of legitimacy for those in power.
(ix)       Political apathy breeds lawlessness and disorderliness in society.

  1.  Inability to protect the principles and ideals of democracy in the society e.g.

       refusal to protest against bad policies and bad governance.
(xi)       Wrong set of people come into power.

(i)         Inculcating civic values.
(ii)        Establishing corrupt free electoral body that would act as an impartial umpire in
the electoral process.
(iii)       Independent/non-partisan judiciary.
(iv)       Encouraging popular participation in elections.
(v)        Defending the fundamental human rights of citizens.
(vi)       Making leaders accountable to the people who elected them.

  1. Ensuring good governance which inspires confidence in the citizens to participate

in political activities.
(viii)     Use of the mass media/civil societies to educate and sensitize the public on their political rights and responsibilities.
(ix)       Encouraging credible opposition in the political process in order to give the people wider choices.
(x)        Encouraging the people to become favourably disposed towards joining popular groups to enhance future political participation.
(xi)       Fulfillment of political promises and manifestoes.




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