Party Politics and Political Thuggery in Nigeria, 1957 - 2011

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Although thuggery and other forms of political rascality are not new phenomena in the Nigerian political space, they have lately taken the centre stage in national discourse. This article investigates violence in the Nigeria body politics from 1957 to 2011, a situation that has sadly dotted the political landscape and devastatingly affected the peaceful co-existence of the people. The study employed historical methods which includes both primary and secondary source materials. The hiring of youths as thugs and hoodlums, which usually characterized the pre and post-election periods and processes, in order to maneuver, intimidate opponents and legitimize their positions have, continually, resulted in the flow of tears and blood. The "do or die" syndrome, which has continued to hamper the major stakeholders from being transparent and sportsmanly in their conduct and vituperations, have, consequently, made it impossible for Nigeria to achieve a stable polity. It posits that if the Nigerian political environment is to enjoy stability and development, there is the need for the sensitization of the people, particularly the youths, on their roles before, during and after elections.



Elections, Nigeria, Politcal Party, Thuggery, Youths