Observers Report and the 2019 General Elections in Nigeria: A Focus on Electoral Violence and Lessons for Future Elections


Election Monitoring Groups (EMGs) are key elements to conducting free, fair and transparent democratic elections, especially in countries with history of electoral fraud and violence.  Apart from reinforcing the strengths of the electoral process in countries, EMGs also help to point out the challenges/weaknesses faced by a country’s electoral process and based on that make recommendations on how to improve on future elections.  Since democratic rebirth till date, all the six general elections conducted in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Nigeria were monitored by different EMGs.  The reports and recommendations of some of these Observers Groups have since been submitted to appropriate authorities and the information therein are also known to the public.  Recurring in virtually all these reports is the incidence of violence among other vices.  More than earlier elections, electoral violence assumed greater height during the 2019 general elections, thereby creating the impression that little or nothing had been learnt from previous experiences.  The paper against this background, examines the reports recently released by some of the EMGs, including the European Union (EU), NDI/IRI Common Wealth and Nigeria Civil Society on the 2019 general elections, with the view to analyzing the nature and dimensions of violence during the elections and suggest ways to ameliorate their reoccurrences.

Keywords: Election, election monitoring group, electoral violence

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 21-32 (Download PDF)

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