Violence and the Electoral Process in Nigeria: A Case Study of the 2007 Gubernatorial Election in Plateau State
The history of human existence is replete with one form of violence or another. Violence is therefore not a recent development. It has occurred and may occur whenever and wherever there is a clash of interest between individuals and or groups. Violence is also used as a weapon by some people to realize or achieve certain ends. This implies that violence manifests in different forms and dimensions. The phenomenon that is associated with the Nigerian electoral process is violence in Nigeria is characterized by thuggery, intimidation, molestation and assassination. Against the prevalence of electoral violence, this research examined the factors responsible for the outbreak of violence in the 2007 Gubernatorial Elections in Plateau State. Specifically, the work examined why for the first time politicians in Plateau State resorted to assassination of an aspirant in the quest for political power. The researcher used the group theory as its theoretical framework because of group and individual interest used in achieving their political ambitions. Data for the research were collected from primary and secondary sources. Relevant information gathered from primary sources involved the use of structured questionnaire and oral interviews were conducted among the politicians. The data from primary and oral interviews were analyzed using frequency tables and percentages. The analysis of the result shows that; ethno-religious consideration, lack of political will by government in implementing committee recommendations have impacted negatively on the electoral process in the 2007 Gubernatorial elections in Plateau State. Based on these findings it is recommended that there should be more enlightenment campaigns to sensitize Nigerians on the danger of electoral violence.