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THE EFFECT OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE ON ELECTION CREDIBILITY DURING THE NIGERIA 2023 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN LAGOS STATE.

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THE EFFECT OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE ON ELECTION CREDIBILITY DURING THE NIGERIA 2023 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN LAGOS STATE.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  1. Background of the Study

There are still many unanswered doubts regarding Nigeria's capability and political will to hold elections that are free, fair, and peaceful as the country prepares for the polls. Since the country's independence in 1960, the process of choosing the country's leaders has been repeatedly plagued by violence as well as a wide variety of anomalies. It seems that politicians in Nigeria have developed a tolerance for dishonesty, corruption, intimidation, and violence, as though they regard these to be the indispensable tools of successful politicians. Voters in Nigeria have not been given the opportunity to count their votes or have their votes counted, and it is alarming to see that this tendency is becoming worse. The elections in 2007 were described as an undemocratic farce by national and foreign observers who saw them, and Freedom House ranked them as the worst elections to take place in Nigeria since the end of military government in 1999. (Frank ,2018). Will 2023 be a transformative year marked by relatively peaceful change, or will it be a year that sees a return to electoral disenfranchisement by violent means? As Nigeria prepares for its elections in 2023, there is little cause for optimism that the country would avoid a recurrence of its nasty political past. That is without a doubt one of the contributing factors why political ambition in Nigeria is so fierce. In addition to this, there is a lack of transparency, accountability, and law enforcement oversight in the funding and operation of political campaigns, which leaves ambitions unchecked and makes it possible to take the "do-or-die" approach that was so prominently promoted by previous administrations. Elections in Nigeria have never been about the issues, nor have they been about finding solutions to the many problems that the country's mostly impoverished people faces. In response to recent increases in gasoline prices imposed by the government, the Nigeria Labour Congress has lately vowed to call for a nationwide strike (Reynolde , 2022). Despite this, the issue of government subsidies for gasoline is seldom mentioned in party programs. Pensioners who get benefits from the federal government have lately been subjected to a burdensome procedure for verifying their identification and eligibility; nevertheless, politicians are not addressing what policies they may give to this key group of voters. Many politicians make passing references to enhancing strength output and publicly agree that corruption is one ofNigeria's greatest problems, but most citizens view such comments as half-hearted attempts to paper over political gambits for power. Although many politicians make passing references to improving electricity output, most citizens view such comments as half-hearted attempts to paper over political gambits for power. It is a depressing and irritating reminder that politics in Nigeria is not yet by, about, or even for the regular inhabitants of the country that the inability to address the serious concerns plaguing ordinary Nigerians. For a long time, politics has been about power—how to control it, how to undermine it, and how to distribute it. Alliances are formed not just among political leaders but also among ordinary citizens along the expedient lines of convenience, ethnicity, and religion (Wader , 2021). These political alliances may be flexible, particularly among the elites, and all too often they foster adherence to factional rather than national objectives. This is especially true in situations when there is a power imbalance. In this environment, conflict may be sparked at any level of the electoral process, especially in this extremely atypical election season. In this context, conflict can be triggered at any point of the electoral process. Since the return of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, violence of varied degrees has unfortunately been a hallmark of Nigerian elections. In recent years, the amount of violence has increased. Local attempts at peacemaking in conflict-prone areas like as Kaduna have resulted to major security gains, and more recent initiatives are under way in restive Plateau state; but, the probability of electoral violence occurring throughout the country remains at an unacceptablely high level (Omotola, 2020). Many of the underlying causes of election violence have not been addressed, and the situation will only get more volatile leading up to the 2023 elections if tensions continue to rise. Whether they are sponsored or spontaneous, election-related conflicts are distinct in that they signify discontent around tightly interwoven social and economic concerns. In Nigeria, these concerns include dissatisfaction with the performance of the government, competition for resources, inter- and intragroup distrust, joblessness, and anger at an abundance of unscrupulous politicians who have little respect for due process or rule of law. During election seasons, underlying social and economic issues combine with expectations and anxieties of change, elevating tensions and increasing the probability of violent competition (Oni, 2019). This is especially true in countries like Nigeria, where long-standing grievances are fostered by chronic instability, bad governance, community conflicts, gang-related fighting, and violence supported by power brokers. Strong motivations for violent behavior may come from a variety of sources, including economic incentives, prior animosity, and opportunistic cravings for retribution. One aspect that should cause concern is the recent outburst of rage caused by election injustices that took place under the watch of a government that is still seen as offering very little responsibility for electoral crimes. Hence, this study aims to delve into the effect of political violence on election credibility during the Nigeria 2023 general elections in Lagos State.

    1. Statement of the Problem

The holding of elections at regular intervals is one of the cornerstones of democracy, and elections themselves are important historical moments for any country. It is an event that will go down in history because all of the activities that are associated with an election, such as registering voters, campaigning for office, voting, and ensuring that votes are counted accurately, have significant repercussions for a state, and the international community watches with intense interest to see how the processes go (Mackenjie, 2019). A review of the relevant literature reveals an overwhelming number of reports of persistently bad conducts and violence of all sort like, killing and maiming of electorate, snatching of ballot boxes, thrashing of election materials amidst many other violence wer all experienced during the during the 2023 general election in Nigeria's sociopolitical climate. It is therefore the focus of this study to examine the effect of political violence on election credibility during the Nigeria 2023 general elections in Lagos State.

    1. Objective of the Study

The primary objective of the study is to examine the effect of political violence on election credibility during the Nigeria 2023 general elections in Lagos State. The specific objectives is as follows”

  1. To find out the causes of political violence during the Nigeria 2023 general elections in Lagos State.

  2. To determine the extent political violence affected the outcome of the 2023 general elections in Lagos State, Nigeria.

  3. To determine the extent political violence influenced the credibility of 2023 general elections in Lagos State, Nigeria.

    1. Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

  1. What were the causes of political violence during the Nigeria 2023 general elections in Lagos State.

  2. To what extent did political violence affected the outcome of the 2023 general elections in Lagos State, Nigeria.

  3. To what extent did political violence influenced the credibility of 2023 general elections in Lagos State, Nigeria?

    1. Significance of the Study

The study is significant to the INEC, political parties, policy makers and the general public as it will expose INEC to the disadvantage of not conducting a fair and credible election as this could lead to a myriad of violence since some people will feel cheated.

The study will also be of benefit to political parties as the findings of the study will challenge them in canvassing for peace among their supporters instead of going the violence way.

The study will be beneficial to policy makers as it will open up the lapses in the existing laws binding on any one caught in the act of violence during electioneering.

The study will be significant to the academic community as it will expose them to the existing literature.

    1. Scope of the Study

The scope of this study borders on the effect of political violence on election credibility during the Nigeria 2023 general elections in Lagos State. The study will be delimited to Ajah Lagos State.

    1. Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

    1. Definition of Terms

Violence: behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.

Election: a formal and organized choice by vote of a person for a political office or other position


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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