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A STUDY OF ELECTION VIOLENCE IN NIGERIA

Format: MS WORD  |  Chapter: 1-5  |  Pages: 78  |  2749 Users found this project useful  |  Price NGN3,000

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A STUDY OF ELECTION VIOLENCE IN NIGERIA

 

ABSTRACT

For several scores of years, Nigeria has earned an appellation for herself as a showcase of Africa’s democracy. Paradoxically, every journey towards such democratic experiment had been laden with electoral violence even since the colonial days. With the rebirth of African liberalism in the 1990s, electoral violence returned in a more frightening dimension. This study examines electoral violence in the 2011 and 2019 elections in Nigeria. This research project is thus a search for the effect of electoral violence on Nigerian democracy. Chapter one of the study lays an introduction for subsequent chapters. Following the background of the study, the problem statement and the objective of the study which provided basis for the significance of the study and the hypothesis were stated. The limitations of this study were also highlighted. In the literature review as contained in chapter two, works of various authors, international and local journals were reviewed to elicit views on the effect of electoral violence on Nigerian democracy. Chapter three, research methodology, description of population and sampling procedure for data collection were discussed. Methods of questionnaire design, determination of sampling size and questionnaire distribution were also highlighted. Chapter four was based on analysis of data collected. This chapter was sub-divided into data analysis, hypothesis testing and summary. Percentage table, figure and narration were carefully employed for proper understanding and testing of hypothesis. Finally, chapter five was divided into summary of findings, recommendation and conclusion.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The electoral process in Nigerian has been characterized by violence. However, recent manifestations of electoral violence have assumed an unprecedented magnitude and changing form and character, with negative implications for democratic stability and consolidation. Examples include disputed and violent elections in Nigeria where the attendant search for redress through official and unofficial responses has, altogether, been largely trapped in deepening contradictions As a concept, electoral violence basically has to do with all forms of organized acts or threats, physical, psychological and structural aimed at intimidating, harming, blackmailing a political stakeholder before, during and after an election with a view to determining, delaying, or otherwise influencing an electoral process.2 The import of this is that electoral violence is multidimensional, having physical, psychological and structural dimensions. The physical elements include assassination of political opponents, arson, looting, shooting, kidnapping and hostage taking, forceful disruption of campaign rallies, armed raids on voting and collating centres, including snatching of ballot papers and boxes at gun point. The psychological dimension relates to official and unofficial actions that create fear in the people, which may be a product of physical violence. These include threats to opposition forces by security agents or through phone calls or text messages. This structural dimension of electoral violence seems much more pronounced, being a product of structural imbalance, including coercion of citizens by government to register or vote, unequal opportunities for political parties and candidates, abuse of power of incumbency, falsification of election result, as well as the politicization of security and electoral officials. 

It is also evident that electoral violence, like an election itself, is not restricted to Election day alone. It can happen before, during and after the elections. Pre-election violence any include acts threats against electoral stakeholders during voter’s registration or electioneering campaigns. Election day violence includes the snatching of ballot papers or boxes, assaults on opposition parties or agents, and harassment or intimidation by security agents. In the aftermath of an election, electoral violence may take the form of violent protests against electoral rigging, whether real or imagined, and of the state’s deploying its apparatus of force in response to the protest, thereby further fuelling the violence. In addition, electoral violence is a form, perhaps the most deadly form of electoral fraud which has been defined as “clandestine efforts to shape election results.4 This can be perpetrated both by the incumbent power holder to avoid defeat and by power opposition elements seeking to wrest political power form the governing party. In most cases, electoral information such as registration data, vote results, ballots; campaign materials, for example, vehicles and public address systems, electoral facilities such as polling and counting stations, and electoral events including campaigns rallies.

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