The Media and Electoral Violence in Nigeria

Subscribe to access this work and thousands more

Nigeria, and especially the developing countries have long been plagued with electoral violence since the return to civilian rule in the early 1990s; and the media, as a major conflict stakeholder, have often been fingered as a culprit as a double edged sword of either resolving or escalating the conflict.

This paper seeks to examine the role the media plays before, during, and after a conflict, and how their actions and inaction affects as well shape the dimension of a conflict.


Election and electioneering processes are perhaps the most important pillar and test of a 

democracy, often serving as the ultimate guarantor of social peace and robust democratic 

institution (Malloch 2003). Oyesomi (2017) noted it is, indeed, a necessary condition for 

democracy because it provides the medium for the expression of the core principles and purposes 

of democracy such as the sovereignty of the citizens; freedom, choice and accountability of 

political leaders. In order to serve these purposes of democracy, elections must be free and fair as 

well as devoid of violence or armed conflict.  

The rebirth of democracy in Africa, which began in the late 1990s, has been followed by a great 

number of election-related conflicts and much violence. Nigeria as a nation, has more in the recent 

past had its more than fair share of electoral conflicts, and the inception of the Fourth Republic 

made the problem more alarming in view of the violent armed conflicts which has resulted in 

colossal loss of lives and property (Radda, 2006 cited in Mohammed 2006, ed). The African 

Electoral Violence Database (AEVD) created by Scott Straus and Charlie Taylor shows that 

approximately 60 per cent of elections held in Africa between 1990 and 2008 exhibited various 

forms and levels of violence. Straus (2012) submits that “this form of political violence is likely 

to persist at least in the short term” in many contemporary African states. 

The UNDP noted that findings from recent experiences is that electoral processes can stimulate or 

catalyze destructive social conflict: Burundi, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, Kenya, Sri 

Lanka, and Zimbabwe are just a few of the examples of countries where electoral processes have 

been persistently violence ridden. In the most destructive instancessuch as the 1992 presidential 

elections in Angola or parliamentary polls that year in Algeria—elections and their outcomes can 

often be a strong stimulant for violence that escalates to the level of civil war.

Subscribe to access this work and thousands more
Overall Rating


5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star

Shittu, N. (2018). The Media and Electoral Violence in Nigeria. Afribary. Retrieved from

MLA 8th

Shittu, Nafiu Osam "The Media and Electoral Violence in Nigeria" Afribary. Afribary, 05 Dec. 2018, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.


Shittu, Nafiu Osam . "The Media and Electoral Violence in Nigeria". Afribary, Afribary, 05 Dec. 2018. Web. 28 Sep. 2023. < >.


Shittu, Nafiu Osam . "The Media and Electoral Violence in Nigeria" Afribary (2018). Accessed September 28, 2023.