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Effects of Electoral Violence & Insecurity in Nigeria Politics

Effects of Electoral Violence & Insecurity in Nigeria

In this essay, we will explore the effects of electoral violence and insecurity in Nigeria politics. Elections, violence, and insecurity are interrelated issues that can have significant social, economic, and political implications for any country and Nigeria is not an exception. Elections provide an opportunity for citizens to exercise their right to vote and choose their leaders. However, elections can also be a trigger for violence and insecurity, especially if the electoral process is perceived as unfair, fraudulent, or illegitimate.

Violence during elections can take many forms, such as physical assaults, property damage, and even loss of life. In some cases, political parties and candidates use violence as a tool to intimidate their opponents and manipulate the election results. Electoral violence can also be fueled by ethnic, religious, or other forms of identity-based tensions that are exploited by political actors to mobilize their supporters.

Insecurity during elections can also arise from the actions of non-state actors, such as criminal gangs, terrorist organizations, and armed groups. These groups may seek to disrupt the electoral process by attacking polling stations, election officials, or candidates. In some cases, they may also target civilians who are perceived as supporting a particular candidate or political party.

Nigeria, being the largest democracy in Africa, has a long history of electoral violence and insecurity during elections. Electoral violence and insecurity in Nigeria politics have profound effects on the country’s democratic system, political stability, and economic development. Here are some of the impacts of electoral violence and insecurity in Nigeria politics.


Effects of Electoral Violence & Insecurity in Nigeria Politics


#1. Lack of Trust in Electoral Process

One of the major effects of electoral violence and insecurity in Nigerian politics is the erosion of trust in the democratic system. When citizens witness violence and insecurity during elections, they lose confidence in the electoral process, and they become less likely to participate in future elections.

This is because they do not believe that their votes will count, and they are afraid of violence and intimidation at polling units. The low voter turnout as a result of this lack of trust can have severe consequences for democratic governance in Nigeria, as it undermines the legitimacy of elected officials and weakens the democratic institutions.


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#2. Create Fear and Intimidation

Political violence and insecurity in Nigeria create a culture of fear and intimidation. The fear of violence and intimidation can deter people from exercising their right to vote, or it can lead them to vote for a particular candidate out of fear rather than genuine support.

This can result in the election of incompetent and corrupt leaders who are not representative of the will of the people. The culture of fear and intimidation can also lead to political apathy, as citizens become disillusioned with the political system and feel powerless to effect change.


#3. Create Economic Consequences

Electoral violence and insecurity also have significant economic consequences. Businesses and investors are hesitant to invest in areas with a history of election violence, which can lead to economic stagnation and a lack of job opportunities.

Furthermore, the cost of election-related violence can be enormous. The destruction of property, loss of life, and disruption of economic activities can have long-term economic consequences, including increased poverty and inequality.


#4. Breakdown of Law and Order

Electoral violence and insecurity in Nigeria politics can lead to a breakdown of law and order. When election violence is not addressed and perpetrators are not held accountable, it sends a message that violence is an acceptable means of achieving political goals.

This can lead to a cycle of violence, where political violence becomes a norm and the rule of law is eroded. The breakdown of law and order can lead to an increase in crime, as criminals take advantage of the chaos and instability to unleash mayhem on the citizens and businesses. This, in turn, has lead to the erosion of social cohesion and a breakdown of community trust.


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#5. Effects Well-being of Citizens

Electoral violence and insecurity also have profound effects on the mental health and well-being of citizens. Witnessing or experiencing violence during elections can have long-term psychological consequences, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These psychological effects can lead to a decrease in productivity and an increase in healthcare costs.


#6. National and Regional Security

Electoral violence and insecurity in Nigeria politics can have significant consequences for nation and regional security. Nigeria is a key player in West Africa, and instability in Nigeria can have a destabilizing effect on the entire region.

The proliferation of small arms and light weapons during election periods can lead to a rise in transnational crime, including human trafficking, drug trafficking, and terrorism. Furthermore, instability in Nigeria can have a significant impact on the global energy market, as Nigeria is a major oil producer.


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Wrapping up: Effects of Electoral Violence & Insecurity in Nigeria Politics

Electoral violence and insecurity in Nigeria politics in a serious issue. To address the effects of electoral violence and insecurity in Nigeria, there is a need for concerted efforts by all stakeholders. Political leaders must take responsibility for creating a peaceful environment during elections, and they must publicly condemn violence and intimidation. The government must also ensure that law enforcement agencies in Nigeria are adequately trained and resourced to maintain law and order during elections.

Civil society organizations, including the media, must hold political leaders accountable for their actions and publicize the consequences of election violence and insecurity. They must also work to educate citizens on their rights and responsibilities during elections, and encourage peaceful participation in the democratic process.

Governments and other stakeholders can take a range of measures to ensure that elections are free, fair, and peaceful. These may include strengthening electoral institutions and processes, ensuring the impartiality and integrity of election officials, providing security for voters, candidates, and election officials, and promoting dialogue and reconciliation among political actors.


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In addition to these measures, it is also essential to address the underlying social, economic, and political factors that contribute to electoral violence and insecurity. This may involve promoting inclusive governance, addressing poverty and inequality, discrimination and promoting respect for human rights and the rule of law. By taking a comprehensive and holistic approach, it is possible to promote peaceful, democratic, and stable societies that can withstand the challenges of elections, violence, and insecurity in Nigeria.

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