Political Violence and Democratic Sustenance in Nigeria: An Assessment of the 2015 and 2019 General Elections in Nasarawa State

Author(s): Erunke Canice Esidene, Joseph Shekwo, Bara'atu Abdullahi, Rabo Maikeffi

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Published: 2022-08-06

Abstract: The main thrust of this study is to examine the relationship between political violence and the sustenance of democratic values in Nigeria, with particular reference to Nasarawa State. The tragedy of violence that has permeated electoral processes in Nigeria ever since inception of democratic project in 1999, and particularly those of 2015 and 2019 general elections, remain a cause for concern. The said elections have been essentially characterized by massive violence, rigging, snatching of ballot boxes, intimidation and suppression by political opponents, among others. The scenario in Nasarawa state has witnessed some form of irregularities ranging from vote buying, arson and several other irregularities, which have congealed to mar the process of democratic sustenance. This work is a survey research and, hence, adopts the use of primary and secondary sources of data collection as method of investigation. The major tool applied in the survey was questionnaire and interview method, while data was collected and analyzed using simple percentage analysis. The data generated was to be able to demonstrate possible linkages between political violence and the sustenance of Nigeria’s democratic system, using Nasarawa State as a point of departure. The results from the findings reveal that though conscious efforts have been made by government and other stakeholders to mitigate violence during elections, not much has been achieved in sustaining the peace either before, during or after elections. The study recommends, among other things, that more efforts are needed to adequately enforce the desired rules required to tame the tides of increasing violence in Nigeria generally, and specifically in Nasarawa state, as panacea for democratic sustenance in the 21st century and beyond.