n African Renaissance - Electoral violence and the 2015 general elections in Nigeria

Volume 12 Number 3-4
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


It is common knowledge that widespread violence before, during and after elections have been a constant feature of Nigeria's electoral process. The extensiveness and destructiveness of the violence associated with the 2011Presidential election results, especially in the northern parts of the country, haunted Nigerians as the nation moved towards the 2015 polls. The assumed fears were further accentuated by the fact that the two major Presidential candidates in the previous election were the same contestants in 2015. There were also concerns that electoral malpractices and violence would once again shape the outcome of the polls. This paper argues that the poor performance of the then ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the sharp deteriorating economic conditions in the country and the determination by Nigerians to ensure the supremacy and sanctity of the people's choice together with the innovation of the card reader, largely determined the outcome of the elections while violence was an insignificant variable in the electoral process. Sustained political education and criminalization of acts of electoral violence with an effective punishment system are imperative policy options in taming the ugly phenomenon of violence in Nigeria's electoral process.

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