n Journal of African Elections - Electoral violence and Nigeria's 2007 elections




Nigeria is looked upon by many both in Africa and outside to give leadership in the best democratic practices. Unfortunately, since its independence in 1960, its electoral process has been marred by violence, the most extreme of which, until 2007, was the violence in the Western Region in 1965-1966, which ushered in the first military coup in the country. This paper examines the issue of electoral violence in the 2007 elections and concludes that it was the worst in the country's 47 years of electoral history. The reason is mainly that those who perpetrate the violence are never punished. Instead, they are protected, and their victims are denied justice. The solution, therefore, lies in enthroning the rule of law, investigating and punishing tin gods, and mobilising citizens to defend democracy, and insist that politicians, incumbent governments, and electoral administrators play by the rules.


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