Electoral Violence in Nigeria: The Case of Anambra State Gubernatorial Elections (2003 and 2007)

Electoral Violence in Nigeria: The Case of Anambra State Gubernatorial Elections (2003 and 2007)

PREFACE

The research work examined the concept of Electoral Violence as perceived by some analysis of democratic elections. It traced the history of Electoral Violence in Nigeria. It also examined Electoral Violence during Governorship Elections in 2003 and 2007 with particular reference to Anambra State in the South Eastern Nigeria geopolitical zone. The factors responsible for the Electoral Violence in 2003 and 2007 were examined. The work exposed the diverse dimensions of electoral violence manifest prior, during and after the election and consequent effects on lives and properties. Therefore, the objective of the study is to echo the fact that electoral violence, intimidation, corruption, indiscipline among other vices cannot ensure a democratic free society, good governance and stable society. Furthermore, this work highlighted the inefficiency of the security agents, their lacklustre roles in the past general elections and the 2003 – 2007 governorship elections in Anambra State to project the need for their immediate reorientation and equipment for their primary role and importance to the national assignment. The enthronement of a genuine civilian government has been an illusion to Nigeria as a nation and Anambra State in particular. The revelation that the unemployed youths of this nation, as ready tools for electoral violence, fall prey to the wicked hands of the insensible, selfish and daredevil profit-oriented politicians, that regard politics as a do or die affair, should serve as a turning point for the creation of employment opportunities for the youths to cause scarcity and discouragement for the money bag politicians and their godsons, to ensure peaceful elections. Furthermore, this work touched on the causes of the inability of INEC as an electoral umpire not to have been able to conduct a generally adjudged credible, free and fair election acceptable to most Nigerians, local and international observers. It is therefore hoped that the recommended electoral reformation, constitutional amendment and Electoral law review, will grant INEC true independence that would free it from tele guide of any sort and
enslavement to conduct free fraudulent and violent elections for the country Nigeria.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE PAGE ……………………………………………………….……..i
CERTIFICATION PAGE …………………………………………………….ii
APPROVAL PAGE…………………………………………………………………..iv
DEDICATION ……………………………………………………………..v
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT …………………………………………….…..vi
PREFACE ………………………………………………………….……..viii
TABLE OF CONTENTS ……………………………………………..…..x
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the study……………………………………………………..1
1.2 Statement of Problem……………………………………………………..6
1.3 Objective of Study…………………………………………….…………..7
1.4 Significance of Study……………………………………….…..………..8
1.5 Scope of Study……………………………………………….…………..8
1.6 Literature Review…………………………………………….…………..9
1.6.1 Electoral Violence in Nigeria………………..…………………….9
1.6.2 Political Class and Electoral Violence……………………………12
1.6.3 Law Enforcement Agencies and Electoral Violence……………13
1.6.4 The Management of Elections By Electoral Body (INEC) and
Electoral Violence……………………………………….…………15
1.7 Theoretical Perspective………………………………………………….17
1.8 Hypothesis……………………………………………………..…………..18
1.9 Methodology………………………………………………………………19
CHAPTER TWO: HISTORY OF ELECTORAL VIOLENCE IN NIGERIA
2.1 The TIV Riots of 1960/1964………………………………….……….…20
2.2 The Federal or General Elections of 1964……………………………..21
2.3 The Western Election of 1965…………………………………..………23
2.4 The General Elections of 1983…………………………………………24
2.5 The General Elections of 1993…………………………………………….25
2.6 The 1998/1999 General Elections…………………………………….26
CHAPTER THREE: ELECTORAL VIOLENCE DURING GOVERNORSHIP ELECTIONS IN ANAMBRA STATE
3.1 Fraud, Intimidation and Violence……………………………….……..28
3.2 The 1999 Governorship Election: Post Electoral Violence …..…….32
3.3 The 2003 – 2004 Governorship Election: Post Electoral Violence…33
3.4 2007 Electoral Violence: Irregularities, Riggings and the Use of Thugs ………………………………………………………………………36
CHAPTER FOUR: FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR ELECTORAL VIOLENCE
DURING THE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION IN ANAMBRA STATE
4.1 Poor Management of Electoral Process and Elections by the Independent
National Electoral Commission (INEC)…………………………..…….38
4.2 The Inadequacy and the Inability of the Law Enforcement Agents to
provide Security during Elections …………………………………..…..41
4.3 Scramble for State Resources and Electoral Violence…..…………….43
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Summary ……………………………………………………..……………50
5.2 Conclusion …………………………………………………..…………….51
5.3 Recommendations…………………………………………….………….52
BIBLIOGRAPHY ……………………………………………….……….………55

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Generally speaking, Election is part of the Electoral process. While on the other hand, the electoral process is institutionalized means of transplanting the popular wills of individuals into a common choice of a candidate among many candidates who stand for an elective position to represent a particular group of people. The word election is as old as mankind itself. Right from the Greek and Roman time, electrons were conducted in one form or the other. Though elections were used among Greece and Romans, the modern techniques of elections or electoral process have their trace in modern Europe following the selections or nominations of Bishops and Popes of the Roman Catholic Church in the middle Ages. While on the other hand, secular elections were predated to the twentieth (20th) century when members of the English, House of Common first began to be returned by their peers. However, the popular, right to vote for parliamentary representatives is a product of the American and the French Revolutions, and until the nineteenth, (19th) Century, when elections of representative bodies become a norm in Europe and its colonies, (Noblem, 1978:54, Katz, 1997).

‘Violence’ connotes a negative outcome. The word violence refers to the reaction by the people that turns negative and hurts the people. That means violence affects lives and property negatively. In a way, if an action turns violent, it is either life are lost, or properties are destroyed.

Therefore, a violent election is that which results in protest reaction by the people, and leads to the disruption of the process and in effect properties and lives are destroyed.

Before now, political as well as electoral violence was not given greater attention in the study of social sciences. As a result, Eckstein in his volume of ‘internal war’ has noted that social theory has little contribution to the occurrence of large-scale violence since violence is regarded as being incidental to the basic character of social structures and processes, (Feldman, 1964).

Consequently, in modern states, elections are the nexus between private life and public choice in contemporary times. Viewing from the civic engagement, therefore, voting is, perhaps the most public act by which majority decisions of the citizens are carried out. However, in a way or condition under which electoral processes are conducted, voting becomes one of the most private and isolated political processes. This is because of the tension between the choice of individual and collective outcome structures of the electoral ritual. Thus electoral processes are forms of voters’ information that focus on the electoral phenomenon and issue of candidates. Finally, elections reach out to the public to include the entire population in a common experience, which sometimes serve as a verifying factor for the people and sometimes as a means of intensifying difference among them.

In recent times, however, political analysts, as well as theorists, have come to agree that violence and threat of violence is a dimension of national and international politics respectively. To this extent, the increasing awareness of the contemporary political scientist on violence and other civil strifes are commonly associated with power and the exercise of power at all levels of political communications. Smith therefore lightly states that:

Violence has always been part of the Political process… Protest activities of one form or another, efforts to dramatize grievance in a fashion that will attract attention and ultimately the destruction or threatened destruction of life and property appear as expressions of political grievances even in stable, consensual societies… the ultimate ratio of political action is force. The political activity below the threshold of force is normally carried on with the knowledge that an issue may be escalated into overt violence if a party feels sufficiently aggrieved (Smith 1968:111-128).

Elections generally are events that take place at regular intervals and their repetitions over time cause a certain electoral culture to accrue. While on the other hand, electoral culture periodically takes place over time from the routine style of politics engulfing it, retracting it and intertwining its motives, peculiar to electoral rituals: Voters registration, campaign programmes and party rallies, pre-election opinion polls and the inevitable predictions of pundits among others. And for all that is involved in them, elections bring them to rapture in continuity.

Elections for the electorate are elements of concentrated politics. This is because the electorate views elections as a means of compressing a large amount of information and successive efforts by them into a relatively short period in a highly structured format. Elections urge the electorate to consolidate their opinions and to weigh the evidence for and against different electoral opinions and take a definite side. Elections are decisions illuminating processes often requiring the people to make compromises and to choose alternatives that are fair wholly to match their ideal. (Harp and Miller, 1987).

In terms of politics, there is rarely a total agreement on the assessment of any act of government as legitimate or illegitimate. It is methodologically difficult to determine the point when the state use of violence has moved from the legitimate to the illegitimate. This is because the conflicting conception of violence is usually analyzed as a causal explanation for the individual or groups use of violence. People’s disagreement on violence springs to an important extent that impinged off differences in political perspectives.

Based on our purpose of study, electoral violence is the use or threat of physical activity carried out by an individual or group of individuals on a person or person’s and or property with the intent to cause injury or death to persons and or damage or destruction of property and whose objective, choice of target or victims, surrounding circumstances, implementation and effects in the existing arrangement of the power structure that has some consequences for the political power. Violence is the use of physical force. It existed in every human society throughout the ages. However, violence in totality is not legally accepted by governments as a means of regulating state functionaries. As result, governments attempt to control violence by the means of laws through law enforcement agents and security operatives.

Consequently, for violence to be political, it must have some intent of affecting the political process. The political process on the other hand must be considered to be a system of distribution of values carried out by specific individuals within specific institutions. It must also be noted that our definition excludes accident and criminal actions for personal gain but the acts of the representative of the government and or dissident respectively.

Electrical violence can be categorized into type and scale. The forms of violence under investigation in this research work may therefore include riots, party clashes and demonstrations with violent lootings, assassinations among others. At one end of the scale, violence may involve thousands of people as in demonstrations and riots; on the other hand, individual isolated incidents, involving a handful of people. Our working definitions may also include revolution, civil war, guerilla wars, military coups which may present themselves as attempts to seize power or to throw it off. (Anifowose, 1982:5).

For quite some time, the effort of understanding the cause of violence has been the concern of man. For instance, Arnold Forster probably represents the majority view among contemporary scholars when he considered electoral violence by its very nature beyond any simple causation. The causes of political violence have been so numerous and complex that scholars have even argued that the very uniqueness of each conflict defies efforts to formulate a cross-national hypothesis.

The relationship between elections and democracy is traced to the emergence of representative government as a viable form of democratic government in large and different societies. The genesis of development lies in the related strands in the evolution of political theory. The expansion of natural rights theory incorporates the concept of the political right. Early scholars’ interests in electoral behaviour were stimulated by extensions to the process of development of mass political parties and the availability of aggregate level official statistics.

Even though the explanations of electoral behaviour are elusive, researchers have roamed across the social sciences in the endeavour to establish models of the electoral process with causal forces. At a time, when the electoral process is being studied, and analyzed, a substantial proportion of political scientists and sociologists, psychologists, economists, historians, geographers, statisticians and demographers are all involved. This is because the study to understanding electoral processes such as campaigning and voting might be considerable and important political activity. Therefore, understanding political activities is a multi-disciplinary character in which neither democratic concepts nor strictly political concepts play a major role.

Therefore, a very large number of factors are given by scholars to explain electoral violence. This however does not imply that a general hypothesis cannot be drawn from the wide variety of descriptive incidents that have occurred in recent years. From the existing factors, it is clear that electoral violence may take three groups sub-headings with mutual complementary. Thus, the social structural explanation of the origin of most violence is to look at the social context within which they occur.

To this effect, Johnson (1966), believes that any analytical penetration of the behaviour characterized as purposive violence must utilize as its tools a conception of the social context in which it occurs. This emphasis is conceived usually, based on such variables which may contribute to the stability or instability of a political system. This process directs attention to such variables as a breakdown of consensual norms, instances of political alienation, the cohesiveness of a ruling group and its legitimacy.

On a general note, political violence is broader than electoral violence which occurs in different kinds of a political systems that may not necessarily be democratic. As a result, political violence can be distinguished from electoral violence. For instance, Anifowose, (1982:4) rightly gives a concise definition of political violence as:

The use of threat or physical act carried out by an individual or individuals within a political system against another individual or individuals and or property.

Thus political violence is carried out in a struggle for acquiring political power, while in some cases, political violence is associated with the process of election. Electoral violence represents one of the greatest challenges of many democratizing societies. According to Segun Jegede, (2003:31), “There are different manifestations of electoral violence. They include murder, arson, abduction, assault, violent seizure and destruction of electoral materials”. These acts are all perpetrated by individuals and groups to influence the outcome of elections or deter elected officials from consolidating their positions after elections.

Electoral violence is a form of violence that is associated mainly with the process of elections in a given society precisely a democratic set-up or the process of democratic transition. (Afolabi, 2003:79). Electoral violence particularly in Nigeria and more specifically in Anambra State is a quintessential elite affair arising from the inordinate struggle for places in the structure of power that have often degenerated into open violence among ethnic-communal groups or individuals who are deceived into believing that their interests are about to be imperilled.

The most problematic nature, controversies and violence that always characterized the electoral process have unrivalled potency to stifle democracy. Indeed, electoral violence is the bane of democratic consolidation in Nigeria. More worrisome is the fact that in the political history of Nigeria, elections have since failed to produce a procedurally legitimate government, since election results are juggled, inflated on annulled, (Ogundipe, 2000). In essence, the absence of legitimate government is the bedrock of democratic failures and political instability.

1.2 Statement of Problem

The recently intensified worldwide struggle by people for free and fair elections, often at great personal risk, demonstrates how important this right has become to individuals in Anambra State. Countries and peoples across the globe have recognized that free and fair elections are a crucial point on the continuum of democratization and an imperative means of giving voice to the will of the people of Anambra State which is the governmental authority itself.

Since independence, the military who dominated power controlled the economic base of the nation. A closer look will reveal that each military cabal has a parsimonious relationship with some groups whose interests it is representing. With a successful handover to a civilian administration in 1989, Nigerians heaved a sigh of relief.

However, the Anambra state has proved to be a hotbed of electoral crises since 1999. With the elections of Chinwoke Mbadinuju, Chris Ngige and the incumbent Peter Obi in the state, prebendalism in Anambra State politics became manifest.

Violent politics in Nigeria and Anambra State, in particular, has been in disagreement among political leaders and their opponents. Political leaders felt that in a situation where their interest is threatened, the best means of protecting their interest is to employ the youths as thugs to counter their opponents.

Since the military-dominated Nigerian power cycle and left it without political culture, consequently, the country has no basic political culture to anchor on. Anambra state being apart, took suit since its creation in 1991. Since independence, the military culture has been that of looting the state economy and treasury for self-enrichment. This process transcends to the civil society at an opportunity of transition and the possible occupation of the political seat. To this effect, occupying a political position is viewed or seen as a means of acquiring wealth through the state treasury. Consequently, the politicians generally see power acquisition as a means of not just acquiring control over their constituency, but also for self-enrichment.

The nature of political groups in the state poses a serious problem and therefore constitute our major concern. The rich economy of the state has been an attractive force to some politicians who do everything within their reach to clinch the mantle of leadership in the state or someone of their own, whom they would always tell guide to their self economic gains.

Consequently, the interest of money bags to play money politics as a means of investment has posed a serious challenge. For instance, the issue of godfatherism loudly pronounced in the Anambra state politics provided a challenge in the field of politics and among political researchers. Electoral violence has incorporated other agents of the state such as law enforcement agents. The researcher will not only base his study on the causes and consequences of electoral violence but would also have to examine the roles played by such law enforcement agents in either fueling or assisting electoral violence.

Many scholars have dwelt on the issue of Electoral Violence in Nigeria. These include Anifowose (1982), Nnoli (1990), Joseph (1991), Igwe (2002), Odey (2003), Chikendu (2003), Ugoh (2004) Okolie (2004), Ezeani (2005), Okolie (2005), Oddih (2005), amongst others. In as much as these authors researched incisively, none of them focused on Anambra State, between 2003 and 2007. We shall investigate focusing on the following questions:

i. Did poor management of Elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) cause electoral violence in the 2003 and 2007 governorship elections?

ii. Did the inadequacy and the inability of the Law Enforcement Agents to provide security during elections contribute to the electoral violence in Anambra State in the 2003 and 2007 Gubernatorial Elections?

iii. Did scramble for state resources account for electoral violence during the Anambra State gubernatorial elections in the 2003 and 2007 elections?

1.3. Objective of Study

The broad objective of this study is to interrogate electoral violence during gubernatorial elections in Nigeria using Anambra State as a case study. The specific objectives are to:

i. Determine if poor management of Elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) caused electoral violence in the 2003 and 2007 governorship elections in the state.

ii. Ascertain whether the inadequacy and inability of the Law Enforcement Agents to provide security during elections contributed to the electoral violence in the 2003 and 2007 governorship elections in Anambra State.

iii. Determine if scramble for state resources contributed to electoral violence in the 2003 and 2007 gubernatorial elections in Anambra State.

1.4 Significance of Study

This study is significant in many ways. First, it will be of significance to the government officials and policy decision-makers on how to fashion out a democratic ideal that will be free from electoral irregularities, to avoid electoral violence.

Furthermore, it will be of significance to the policy decision-makers as it will sharpen their focus to provide an economic framework that would focus on the diversity of the people’s economy and place an end to people thinking that politics is the only means to raise one’s economic fortune.

The research will as well be of great importance to the law enforcement agents as it will make them realize their primary role during the electoral process and redirect them to assume vigilance to avert violence and promote peace during elections. Furthermore, it will make the government officials and policy decision-makers realize the shortcomings in the Law Enforcement Agents especially the police and the judiciary and find definite means of reinforcing and repositioning them to face any challenging situation that may elude the peace of elections.

This research work will be of significance to parents. The role of parents as disciplinary agents of their children and wards is very vital. Therefore, it will serve as a guide to them to stop their children and wards from participating in the violent act during elections. In the same development, this work will aid the youths to understand the danger inherent in violence especially that of the electoral process since it disrupts not just the electoral process but affects the government of the day generally.

Finally, the project will be of significance to members of the academic community, especially those in the department of political science and those researching on politics since it will enrich their research findings and increase or build their literature source. Similarly, it will significantly aid and assist future researchers who would be carrying out research of this nature or similar to it.

1.5 Scope of Study

The scope of the study is Anambra State in the South Eastern geopolitical zone of Nigeria. Anambra state was created in 1991, by General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida with its headquarters in Awka. The period of study is, “2003 and 2007, Gubernatorial Elections”. The main focus of the study is on the chief executive’s seat of the state: The governor’s seat or position. However, the study will make reflections on other elective positions of the state such as the Senatorial, House of Representatives and the State House of Assembly and even Local Government Chairmanship seat if need be for them to serve as a reference to make us understand the subject of study more.

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Cite this article: Electoral Violence in Nigeria: The Case of Anambra State Gubernatorial Elections (2003 and 2007). Project Topics. (2021). Retrieved September 28, 2021, from https://www.projecttopics.org/electoral-violence-in-nigeria-the-case-of-anambra-state-gubernatorial-elections-2003-and-2007.html.



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