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Background of The study

Since the 1990s, African countries have had competitive multiparty elections in the context of a complete break from one-party and military dictatorships. ‘Issues of democratisation and human rights are gaining the world’s attention in Africa,

overcoming a heritage of indifference to the destiny of democracy on the continent,’ writes Ake (Ake, 1991:32). Many of the African countries who permitted elections to take place made a mockery of their transition plans.

Indeed, Naomi Chazan noted the loss of legitimacy that has since characterised African elections, stating that ‘elections in Africa, after the initial euphoria associated with political stability during independence swiftly came to be considered as useless political rites.’Chazan (1979, p.136).

While not questioning the rising nature of democratic transitions in African countries, Lemarchand said, ‘there are compelling reasons to fear that the trend towards democracy may contain within itself the seed of its own downfall’ (Lemarchand, 1992:98).

Celestin Monga identified eight problems with African politics, including: political party weakness, electoral manipulation, a narrow political field, a constrained civil society, a controlled press, the absence of civility, privatised violence and politicised armies, and international support for dictatorship (Monga, 1997:156).

Richard Joseph, on the other hand, seems to have grasped African politics when he declared that “of all the factors impeding constitutional democracy in Africa, none appears to be more significant than the upsurge of political violence” (Richard, 1997:3).

As a result, we believe that a realistic understanding of political renewal in Africa should place a greater emphasis on the role of political violence. Thus, in Kenya, President Daniel arapMoi used political violence to maintain power. Similarly, Kibaki, his successor, was charged with ‘daylight robbery and a civilian coup’ (Bamgbose, 2008:54).

Tsvangirai withdrew from the 2008 run-off election in Zimbabwe in protest of political violence that killed over 120 people and displaced thousands (Bricking, 2010:1). Togo’s presidential election on April 24, 2005, sparked political violence, resulting in a flood of Togolese refugees to neighbouring Ghana and Benin (Bamgbose, 2009:109).

The European Commission requested two Belgian demographers, Andre Lambert and Louis Lohle-Tart, to review the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) voter registration procedure in 2005-06. After completing their consulting, they produced a scathing review of the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

The IRC first put the death toll at 5.4 million, despite the fact that the original figure was not that high. Belgian demographers estimate 200,000 deaths. It is worth noting that several lives were lost (Mamdani, 2010:15).

General Statement of the problem

Electoral violence has done a lot of damage to Nigeria’s socioeconomic growth. Nigeria, a country with a history of electoral violence, has found it difficult to reclaim its proper place among developed nations, despite having done everything possible to strengthen its economy and reduce poverty.

Violence is often a deterrent to investment since no one wants to invest in a country that does not practise peaceful cooperation. Over time, electoral violence has a deleterious impact on democracy; in Nigeria, systematic and uninterrupted electoral violence has frequently resulted in the military seizing power.

The objectives and Aims of the study

The following are the study’s goals and objectives:

To investigate the impact of electoral violence on Nigeria’s democracy.

To assess the extent of electoral violence in Nigeria

To understand the impact of electoral violence on Nigeria’s economy.

To investigate the obstacles to the complete abolition of electoral violence in Nigeria.

To make recommendations for decreasing or eliminating electoral violence in Nigeria.

Research Questions

What impact does electoral violence have on Nigeria’s democracy?

What is the extent of electoral violence in Nigeria?

What effect has electoral violence had on Nigeria’s economy?

What are the obstacles to completely eliminating electoral violence in Nigeria?

Research Hypothesis

H0: Electoral violence has little impact on Nigerian democracy.

H1: Electoral violence in Nigeria has an impact on democracy.

The significance of the research

This study will be extremely useful to the government in informing them about the impact of electoral democracy on our embryonic democracy, therefore alerting them to the need of putting proper measures in trying to stop election violence in Nigeria. This research might also be useful for researchers interested in Nigeria’s democracy.

The scope and limitations of the study

The scope of this study is limited to the impact of election violence on Nigerian democracy, using a case study of south-west Nigeria.

Study limitations

Financial constraint- A lack of funds tends to restrict the researcher’s efficiency in locating relevant materials, literature, or information, as well as in the data collection procedure (internet, questionnaire, and interview).

Time constraint- The researcher will conduct this investigation alongside other academic activities. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

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