ELECTION AND POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN NIGERIA
The politicians, in Nigerian have over the years “become more desperate and daring in taking and retaining power, more reckless and greedy in their use and abuse of power, and more in tolerate of opposition criticism and power and more in tolerate of opposition, criticism and efforts are replacing them”. (Electoral Reform committee report, 2008, voll.19)
Nigerian electoral process and governance system largely rest on the logic and practice of organized criminal enterprises, organize crime, entrepreneurs employ secrecy, cooperation, corruption and violence to promote and defend their interests and organization. Nigerian political parties and lack of transparency are embedded in the aims and strategies of Nigerian political parties and politicians (ALEMIKA, 201 l).
Past elections in Nigerian was characterized by both psychological and physical violence. General violence involves the threat or use of physical force with the intention of injuring, killing and intimidating another person. One of the major benefits of another person. One of the major benefits of democracy is that it inhabits collective violence by providing mechanism for no violent competition of power and resolution of conflicts.
Observations have shown that, the rule of law and respect for the courts, are however, necessary if this benefit is to be realized where citizens and government officials ignore the rule of law or destroy court orders, anarchy and violence are precipated.
Election violence is not a new phenomenon in our country. However, most incidences often tend to be localized, short lived and restricted to polling centres and communities. But the incidences of large - scale election violence of 1963 and 2011 in the Western Region, Oyo and Ondo state in several Northern state respective recorded large scale loss of lives and destruction of property. Base on this facts, it has been shown that despite all the violence in that do occur in the electoral system in Nigeria many have lost fourth in the system because of the awkward act that follows the election process in Nigeria.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY:
Elections are considered as cardinal and indispensable in the practice of modern democracy. According to Nnoli (1990) “it is closely tired to the growth and development of democratic political order that is generally held to be the single most important indicator of the presence or absence of democratic government” Election if properly organized, devoid of rigging and all forms of electoral manipulations and malpractices confers legitimacy on the leadership that emerged from the process the political institutions, policies and programems that accompany such administration. Election has been defined as the manner of choice agreed upon by people out of many to occupy one or a number of positions of authority (Nnoli, 2003).
Transferring power from one regime to another through ballot box. Though election, popular conduct and participation in public affairs is created in the society Ugoh (2004).
The current global emphasis on democratization has made election and inevitable process of leadership choices and succession, obviously, the success of every conditional democracy is tried to the integrity of electoral process while the quality of a representative government is also lived to the capacity of state to evolve viable, transparent and trusted electoral machinery that will inspire the interest and confidences of broad spectrum of civil society and contending factions of political society (Okolie, 2008).
Regrettably, election in Nigeria since political independence has been characterized by violent political that often results in socio — economic tension and unrest this has indeed remained a recurring decimal in Nigeria’s political violence in the country has been sustained reinforced mostly by religions, ethnic and tribal diversities of Nigeria for instance, the political violence that greeted the Nigeria’s first and second republic which eventually led to military intervention and long spell in the country’s government and politics.
This had its roots in ethnic and tribal consideration the human right watch revealed that between independence in 1960 and 19990, Nigeria produced only two elected governments both later over thrown in Military coup. Nigeria military ruled the country for nearly 30 to 40 years of independency, however in 1990, Nigeria made a transition to civilian. The 1999 election which blights by general, Olusegu Obasanjo to power, were blights by such widespread fraud that observed from carter centre concluded that “it is not possible for us to make an accurate Judgment about the outcome of the presidential election. Federal and state election in 2003 were again married by fraud as well as serious incident of political violence. Human right watch found out that members and supporters of the ruling party were responsible for the majority of abuse, through opposition parties also engaged in political violence. Most deaths occurred where opposing bands of armed gongs fought each other in an effort to control an area and displace supporters of the opposing party politician in the oil rich Niger Delta mobilized and funded armed group to help rig election. This led to a sustained increase in political violence and criminality in the region. Despite the absmal record of the 1999 and 2003 elections the government did not correct the problem in the next elections, observers from the European union described the 2007 elections, which brought Umaru Yar’adua to power as the worst they had witnessed anywhere in the world, human right watch estimates that at least 300 people were killed in political violence linked to the 2007 elections.
The 2011 general election process under Attahiru Jega was commended by international and domestic observers regarding major improvement in areas like voters’ registration exercise accreditation and counting phase of the election. The 2011 presidential election raised strong domestic expectation as exempliﬁed by high turnout rates, especially in the core Hausa / Fulani State of Northern Nigeria, where women living in “KULLE” (a kind of Islamic Runnery) were immobilized on religious ground to vote for general Buhari for congress for progressive change (CPC) new social media tools like Facebook etc. had aided in the collection/ collation, analysis and dissemination of information (open society foundation 2011). However, the whole electoral process has been criticized for number of reasons intimidation and political violence.
The presidential election was married by allegations of vote buying and inflation of result most noticeable in South Eastern Nigeria Jonathan’s stronghold where official result in eh presidential election in some rural 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 students of political science and political history, the needed framework for tackling the issues of political violence in future elections. Practically, this research work will be of interest to Nigerian government, especially house committee on electoral matter, ministries, Department, and agencies (MDAs) like the independent Electoral Commission National Commission (SIEC) etc. the findings of this study will also provide valuable information in articulating potential policies that will help address the problem of political and electoral violence.
Finally, to the readers and researcher, this would make useful contribution to any study on same topic related topic on elections and political violence. Areas recorded close to 100 percent votes turnout and part of Kaduna, plateau and Adamawa state with Christian “enclave” this was greeted with widespread protest which later turn to violence in Northern Nigeria. (Human Right Watch 2011).
The Nigerian presidential election has come and gone but the credible election has been stained by the blood of Nigeria who have their live in the election violence experienced mostly in northern senior West Africa researcher of Human right watch “the April election were heralded as among fairest in Nigeria’s history, but they also among the bloodiest.
Following the announcement of the result of the 2011 presidential election Goodluck Jonathan, candidate for the ruling party people’s Democratic party. Violence began with widespread protest by supporters of the opposition candidate, Muhammade Buhari, Congress for progressive change (CPC) challenging the result.
The protest degenerated into sectarian violence and killings by the Almajiri (Sanghaya School student) in the Northern state of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara. Relief official estimate that more than 65,000 people were displaced while over 800 people are estimated to have lost their lives in the political violence.
Also, for the first time the National youth service corps (NYSC) members were used in the electoral process, particularly in the presidential elections.
The crops members were used during the voter registration exercise agency. They played prominent role a the main agents for the organization of the elections.
However, the scheme which was designed by the military government of General Yakubu Gowon to foster national integration through the posting of young graduates to places outside their homes, states came under thereat as a result of the attack and murder of ten corps members in Grade Bauchi state this led to calls from different quarters for the serapping of the scheme.
In a bid to forestall future occurrence, two commission were established in may, 2011 following the elections to examine the factors that led to the violence. Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa established a l2 - person commission in Kaduna, and nationally, president Jonathan established 22 — person commission headed by Sheikh Adined Lemu.
The commission’s work is ongoing, and findings from either or both have the potential to identify the root cause of violence in Nigeria, and even identify the perpetrators for possible punishment. Btu the tracks of post commission suggest that neither effort will make any headway.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
What appeared to a free creditable and peaceful Presidential election took a different coloration overnight. The causes of the election violence in 2011 presidential election is due to poverty unemployment, illiteracy, lack of proper education, popper political enlightenment and voter education. There should be actual conduct of election and every less of ethno - religious factors ad opined by some analysis’s. The problem of the study are corruption of officials and electorates, violence during campaign, potting and collation, rigging through the stuffing, snatching destruction of ballot boxes and falsification of result and ineffective electoral dispute resolution mechanism resulting in the perpetuation of a culture of electoral fraud and violence.
1. 3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to investigate the nature of political violence in the 2011 presidential election in Nigeria. While the specific objective of the study is:
1 To determine how high rate of poverty contributes to Electoral violence in Nigeria‘?
2. To determine how high level of illiteracy contributes to electoral violence in Nigeria?
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. To what extent does high rate of poverty contribute to election violence in 2011 presidential election?
2. To what extent does high rate of illiteracy contribute to election violence in 2011 President election in Nigeria?
3. To what extent does high rate of unemployment contribute to election in 2011 Presidential election in Nigeria?
4. To what extent do ethnic considerations contribute to election violence in 2011 Presidential election in Nigeria?
5. To what extent do Religious considerations contribute to election violence in 2011 presidential election in Nigeria?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS:
In line with our research questions and to vigorously pursue the achievement of broad objectives of the study, we have formulated the following hypothesis.
1. The high rate of poverty did not contribute to the 2011 presidential election violence in Nigeria.
2. The high rate of militancy did not contribute to the 2011 Presidential election violence in Nigeria.
3. The high rate of unemployment did not contribute to the 2011 Presidential election violence in Nigeria.
4. The high rate of ethnic considerations contributed to the 2011 Presidential election violence in Nigeria.
5. The high rate of Religious considerations contributed to the 201 Presidential election violence in Nigeria.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY:
The study has both theoretically and physical
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY:
The scope of the study covers the election and political violence in Nigerian 2011 presidential election.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The limitation to this research are the lack of sufficient fund and material on election and political violence in Nigeria are not quite easy to source, hence reliance on magazines journals, newspaper and similar papers etc.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Election: An election is a formal decision making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy has operated since the 17th century. Election may full offices in the legislature, sometimes in the executive and subsidiary, and for regional and local government. This process is also used in many other private and business organizations, from clubs to voluntary association and corporations.
Violence: is defined as the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high like hood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal development or deprivation, although the group acknowledges that the inclusion of the use of power in its definition expands on the conventional understand of the word.
Democracy: democracy is a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state typically through elected representative.
Electoral: electoral describes anything having to do with elections. When people talk about “electoral reform” they are referring to changing the way political elections work.