Electoral Violence: A theoretical Exploration

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Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, Federal University, Lafia


Nigeria’s post colonial experience as regards the conduct of democratic elections has been particularly turbulent. With the exemption of a few, specifically, the aborted 1993 presidential election, other elections held were characterized by unabated electoral violence. The 2015 general elections generated tensions and controversies more than any other election held in the Fourth Republic. Only a few did not anticipate the occurrence of post election violence. This paper examined the 2015 general elections with the aim of documenting violent acts perpetrated before, during and after the elections. Generating data majorly from secondary sources, this paper argued that hate speech, campaign of calumny, corruption, the domino effect of the Boko Haram insurgency among others are among the major drivers of violence in the 2015 general elections. It is submitted however, that recurrent electoral violence has grievous implications for the democratic process. It is however concluded that the creation of a sound legal framework, to try politicians who indulge in hate speech, fortification of the state security apparatus, provision of employment opportunities among others will assist in reducing if not curb the occurrence of violence in Nigeria’s future elections.



Election, violence, Nigeria, Boko Haram