A PREVENTIVE APPROACH TO PRE AND POST ELECTION VIOLENCE IN CONTEMPORARY NIGERIA: A REVIEW OF 2007 TO 2015 DEMOCRATIC ERA
TABLE OF CONTENT
1.1 Background to the study
1.2 Statement of the problem
1.3 Objective of the study
1.4 Significance of the study
1.5 Research question
1.6 Scope and limitation of the study
1.7 Statement of hypotheses
1.8 Definition of terms
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2. 1 Introduction
2.2 Conceptual frameworks
2.3 Theoretical frameworks
2.4 Elections in the pre-independence years
2.4.1 Historical context of electoral violence in nigeria since independence
2.5 The 2007 election and violence
2.6 The 2011 election and violence
2.7 The 2015 general elections and violence
2.7.1 The postponement that heightened tension
2.7.2 Poactive measures to checkmate outbreak of violence
2.7.3 Reported incidence of, and invitation to violence in the 2015 elections
2.7.4 Sustaining the gains of the 2015 for future elections
2.8 Incidence of electoral violence in nigeria
2.9 Causes of pre and post-election violence in nigeria and the way forward
2.9.1 The way forward
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.2 Research design
3.4 Population of the study
3.5 Study samples and sampling techniques
3.6 Sources of data
3.7 Data collection techniques
3.8 Validity of data
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
4.2 Analysis of general data
4.2.1 Section: analysis of politicians’ opinions
4.2.2 Section b: analysis of views of the electorate
4.2.3 Oral interview for politicians
4.2.4 Overview of findings
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Summary of findings
Assumption no 2
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The challenges of pre and post-election violence seem to be ever-more present as complexities of nation-building and democratic development arise. convergence—electoral violence and its implications to the democratization process—has received much less attention from academics, perhaps because large scale political violence is commonly associated with autocratic regimes, whereas, all the beautiful attributes of what the electoral process should mean for a democratic society cannot be associated with Nigeria. Nigerian electoral history has not been a pleasant one. Nigerians have participated in many elections, beginning with the colonial era when the concept of elections was first introduced. The electorate has also grown from about 5,000 adults with 100 pounds sterling income per annum as qualification to be eligible to vote, to over 70 million voters of 18 years of age and above. Elective posts have also increased tremendously and electoral referees have also changed from being members of the colonial service whose electoral duties were part time assignments to being members of an independent electoral commission on full time employment. Yet, since its attainment of independence in 1960, Nigeria has been bedevilled by political instability fuelled largely by an electoral process in crisis. The country and her leaders have refused to learn from history and avoid the pitfalls of past mistakes in order to pave the pathway for a secure political future. Rather, they have continued to perpetuate the worst forms of our political processes characterized by ugly incidents of political hugger and violence, electoral malpractices both at political party level and general elections, unending law suits, crisis of legitimacy, instability and chaos, Anifowose (1982);
Over the time of Nigeria’s existence as an independent nation-state, all these negative attributes of her political processes have often provided compelling reasons for military adventurists to seize power from its civilian collaborators. Without any fear of contradiction, the problems associated with the first pre and post-independence national election of 1964 and the 1965 Western Region election culminated in the January 15, 1966 coup. The former was characterized by wide spread rigging, intimidation and chaos that some of the major political parties decided to boycott the election, creating in its aftermath serious constitutional dilemma. The latter election of the Western Region was also marred by the problem of massive rigging and other irregularities plus wide spread violence, giving the impetus for the first military coup in Nigeria and the culture of instability that was to beset the country for over three decades.
Other elections that have taken place in Nigeria after the 1964 and 1965 elections have not fared better. The 1979 elections that saw the emergence of Mallam Shehu Shagari as Civilian president was criticized by international observers as having been massively rigged. The 1983 election, four years later was even worse, marred by corruption, political violence and polling irregularities; it provided another set of military adventurers the impetus to seize power on December 31, 1983, citing electoral malpractices as one of its reasons for overthrowing the civilian government. The 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 elections, five elections conducted during this period of seventy years of Nigeria’s democracy have been lampooned by many critics as far from free and fair. In fact, the general election of April 2007, conducted by the existing current electoral body, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been described as the worst election ever held in this country as a result of indescribable irregularities which marred the elections and the 2011 general election was not different in all ramifications. This also pushes a signal for forthcoming general election of 2015 in Nigeria.
Perhaps the freest and fairest election in the history of Nigeria was the June 12, 1993 election that was annulled by General Ibrahim Babangida, erstwhile self-styled military President of Nigeria. Unfortunately, the country was deprived of the opportunity of taking advantage of this successful achievement to launch itself on the road to true democracy by a greedy and rabid political and military class interested in perpetuating itself in power. The vital lesson though from this experience, is that a sound electoral process is dependent on having a solid democratic infrastructure in place and vice versa.
Past elections in Nigeria were characterized by both psychological and physical violence. Generally, violence involves the threat or use of physical force with the intention of injuring, killing and intimidating another person. Osimen (2012) it also involves destruction of property with a view to inflicting emotional or psychological injury and economic loss on another person. One of the major benefits of democracy is that it inhibits collective violence by providing mechanisms for non-violent competition for power and resolution of conflicts. Observance of the rule of law and respect for the courts are, however, necessary if this benefit is to be realised. Where citizens and government officials ignore the rule of law or disobey court orders, anarchy and violence are precipitated. (Elemika, 2011).
As Paul Collier & Pedro C. Vicente (2008) stated that “voter intimidation may not be very effective in turning people into voting against their personal preference, mainly due to the fact that the ballot is cast anonymously and in secret, so it may be impossible to know for sure who the intimidated people actually will vote for, and in addition, the intimidated people might also decide not to vote at all. Although in the majority of cases people tend to be fairly confident about the secrecy of the ballot.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
What appeared to be a free, credible and peaceful presidential election, took on a different coloration overnight. The human Rights Watch reported that the presidential election divided the country along ethnic and religious lines. As election results trickled in on April 17, 2011 and it became clear that Buhari had lost, his supporters who are mostly Almajiri and Islamic clerics took to the streets of northern towns and cities to protest what they alleged to be the rigging of the results. The protests soon turned to skirmish which quickly degenerated into sectarian and ethnic bloodletting across the northern states. Muslim rioters targeted and killed Christians and members of ethnic groups from southern Nigeria, who were perceived to have supported the ruling party, burning their churches, shops, and homes. The rioters also attacked police stations and ruling party and electoral commission offices. In predominantly Christian communities in Kaduna and other northern state, mobs of Christian youths retaliated by killing Muslims and burning their mosques and properties. Jega (2011) blamed the post-election violence on what he termed as “Crisis of Expectation”. In his reasoning.
I regret to say in my view that a lot of post-election violence that we have seen, to a large extent, can be attributed to what i call crisis of expectation. I think so many people expected the election to be so credible, so perfect that in the perfection and credibility it is their candidate who will win, and once their candidate did not win, it was no longer credible and perfect and that I think would have explained, to a large extent, some of the postelection violence.
It is against this backdrop that the study intends to ascertain the preventive approach to pre and post-election violence in contemporary Nigeria: a review of 2007 to 2015 democratic era.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The major objective of the study was to assess the preventive approach to pre and post-election violence in contemporary Nigeria: A review of 2007 to 2015 democratic era.
However, the study specifically
1. Investigate the nature of election violence in the 2007, 2011 and 2015 general election in Nigeria;
2. Determine whether the high rate of poverty and level of illiteracy contributes to the 2007, 2011 and 2015 Post Presidential Election violence in Nigeria.
3. Find the level of violence in Nigeria before and after election
4. Identified the remote cause of pre and post electoral violence in Nigeria.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
A preventive approach to pre and post-election violence in contemporary Nigeria: A review of 2007 to 2015 democratic era is considered from the following perspective:
The study has both theoretical and practical significance. Theoretically, the study has the potential of contributing greatly to existing body of literature on elections and political violence. This work will provide the student of political science and political history, the needed framework for tackling the issues of electoral violence in future elections. Practically, this research work will be of interest to Nigerian government, especially House committee on electoral matters, Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) like the Independent Electoral Commission, National Policy think-tank, States independent Electoral
Commissions (SIEC) etc. The findings of this study will also provide valuable information in articulating potential policies that will help address the problems of political and electoral violence. Finally, to the readers and researchers, this would make useful contributions to any study on same topic or any related topic on elections and political violence.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTION
This study provided answers to the following questions:
1. What is the level of interest in electing leaders who keep their campaign promises in Nigeria?
2. To what extent do citizens of Nigeria benefits from electoral violence before and after election?
3. What measure that has been put in place to curb election violence in Nigeria?
4. What are the challenges derived from the pre and post-election violence in Nigeria?
1.7 STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESES
In line with the research question posed for this study, the following hypotheses are hereby proposed.
1. There is no close relationship between pre and post electoral violence and political development in Nigeria.
2. Electoral violence has negative and positive implications in Nigerian political development.
3. Political violence does not ensure democratic consolidation in Nigeria.
1.8 Definition of Terms
i. Politics: Politics is endemic in a man”Ÿs social existence and that is why a Greek philosopher, Aristotle asserted that man is a political animal. Politics was also defined by Prof Okwudiba Nnoli who opined that politics as the emergence of state power, consolidation of a state power and the use of a state power.
ii. Political party: A political party is an organized group of individuals, seeking to seize the power of government in order to enjoy the benefits being derived from such control. Furthermore, a political party is a regular and permanent organization of certain number of people concerned with either conquering power or keeping it.
However, a political party is any group, however loosely organized seeking to elect governmental office holders under a given label.
So in other words, a political party can be defined as different individuals or people who want to seize government power in order to put their ideologies parties is the seize governmental power.
ii. A party system: A party system consists of all the parties in a particular nation and the laws and customs that govern their behaviour. It simply means the formation, structure as well as the organization of political parties.
ii Election: An election is a process of voting and been voted for, for the qualified citizens of any country, thus, qualification may be educational or based on experience in some cases.
An election is the procedure that allows members of an organization or community to choose representatives who will hold positions of authority within it.
iii. Political development: Political development can be seen as a process involved in a country’s political change. It is an incident that causes a situation to change or progress, a state in which the developing of something is not yet complete.
v Multi-party system: Multi-party system simply means the presence of three or than three parties in particular state. A country that has up to three or more viable parties is said to be operating a multi-party system of government. However, a country may have up to three or more parties but will still not be qualified to be termed multi-party system country, it is because, there must be viable strong opposition parties which will lead to formation of coalition government.
iv. Democracy: Democracy is a Greek word „demos”Ÿ which means “the people” and “kratein” means “to rule”. So it is a system of government of the people, by the people and for the people. Also it a system of government whereby citizens of a country have full rights and obligation to participate in governmental policies and decision making.
v. Power: This is the ability to make people (or things) to do what they would not otherwise have done. In other words, power is the ability to make someone or others conform to your desire or it the ability to act and secure conforming behaviour.
vi. Electoral Commission: This is the body which has the responsibility for the conduct of election in the country, in Nigeria for example, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is typical example of electoral body.
vii. Voting: The exhibition open or secret of one preference for a person or a party or a cause-secret ballot therefore is regarded as the necessary condition for the expression of free choice.
viii. Tyranny: This is government by a tyrant. A tyranny behaves like a dictator but in majority cases not in the interest of the people. Tyranny is a bad form of dictatorship.
ix. General election: This is a type of election where all the electorate in a country participate at the same time on a given day, to elect representatives into the government.
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