Electoral Violence in Nigeria’s Fourth Democratic Experience: A Survey of South-South Geo-Political Zone

Abstract

Incontestably, election constitutes the central process of instituting a government in any democratic system through the competitive vote of the electorate. This competition can either be peaceful as obtainable in most developed democracies, or it could be violent, as prevalent in most African States, including Nigeria. Since the return of civilian rule in 1999, the electoral process in Nigeria has been replete with violence as groups engage in the struggle to capture state power. This paper explored the prevalence of electoral violence in Nigeria between 1999 and 2019 with evidences from the South-South geo-political zone. Observably, the juiciness of political offices has raised the premium of politics such that competition for political power becomes ruthless and normless in Nigerian, thus making electoral contests akin to warfare in which lives and property are lost and destroyed. The paper ascribed the recurring and high level of political violence in the country to over-zealousness and desperation of political gladiators to win elections or remain in office at all cost. From the investigative and analytical outcome, the paper recommended, inter alia, a reduction in the financial attractiveness of political offices, handing down of stiffer penalties to perpetrators of electoral violence by the government so as to deter others from demonstrating such acts in the future as well as effectively educating the citizens on the dangers of electoral violence and its effects on democratic stability in the country.

Keywords: Democracy, Political Power, South-South, electoral violence, political gladiator

DOI: https://doi.org/10.37745/gjpsa.2013/vol10n2pp1633

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 16-33 (Download PDF)

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