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Electoral Violence In Nigerian Politics

Electoral violence is one of the strategies employed by Nigerian politicians during the electioneering period to win election by illegal and dubious means.

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Electoral process is expected to contribute towards democratic consolidation in any given society. Through elections, the electorates are provided with the ample opportunity to vote for the candidates and parties that will represent their varying interests. However, in many African countries such as Nigeria, the electoral process has brought about unwarranted political instability.

Since the 1950s, electoral violence has been a major problem in Nigerian politics. This ugly development has led to several deaths and colossal loss of properties, both private and public, in different parts of the country.

Violence, regardless of its nature, tends to slow down development because development can only take place under a peaceful atmosphere.

As it would be difficult for a blind man to see even in the broad daylight, so it would be difficult for a nation to experience any form of growth or development where there is no relative peace. That is, no amount of national unity and social integration can be achieved under any kind of unstable atmosphere.

According to an analysis by the Nigeria Watch database for the period between June 2006 and May 2014, revealed 915 fatal incidents related to elections.

This analysis did not include terrorist attacks by Islamic or militant groups with religious, social, or economic undertones, but it did study the involvement of such groups in political violence. A total of 3,934 deaths were recorded from these 915 incidents, with the highest prevalence in Plateau State and the lowest in Jigawa State.

Finally, I am of the opinion that the federal government should consider the establishment of Election Offences Tribunals to try those who flout the Electoral Law by committing offences such as rigging, falsification of documents and election results, thuggery, etc.

It is our hope that our suggestions if adhered to would set the stage for the conduct of violence-free elections which would engender political stability and place Nigeria in the echelon of powerful democracies in the world.

Content created and supplied by: FrankChukwu (via Opera News )

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