Periscoping the Economic Basis of Electoral Violence in Nigeria, 1999-2019

Abstract

Elections are the hallmarks of democracy; they also serve the purposes of peaceful change in the government and confer political legitimacy on the government. Viewed from this prism, elections represent the expression of the sovereign will of the people. However, the conduct of elections in plural society like Nigeria is often fraught with animosities and violence. This paper, therefore, aimed at examining the economic implications of electoral violence on Nigeria’s democratic trajectory. The paper makes use of qualitative and quantitative sources of historical data. It also employs and applies frustration aggression and systemic theory in discussing the economic basis of electoral violence in Nigeria. The study establishes the fact that elections in Nigeria since the return of democracy in Nigeria are hardly free and fair. They are manipulated and characterized with violence with grave implications on the country’s economic development. The paper concludes that in order to do away with the teething challenges that usually translate to electoral violence in Nigeria certain things need to be done. In this connection, the paper recommends granting of full autonomy to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); this would engender administrative efficiency and professionalism of the body. It also recommends among others,  the reduction in wages and allowances of political office holders. The idea is to make politics less financially attractive so that leaders will see themselves as agents of development than money mongers.  

Keywords: Elections, Violence, manipulations and economy

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 52-69 (Download PDF)

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