The Media and Electoral Violence in Nigeria

Nafiu Shittu 11 PAGES (2801 WORDS) Essay/Paper
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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.

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Nafiu, S (2018). The Media and Electoral Violence in Nigeria. Retrieved May 26, 2019, from

MLA 8th

Shittu, Nafiu. "The Media and Electoral Violence in Nigeria", 05 Dec. 2018, . Accessed 26 May. 2019.


Shittu, Nafiu. "The Media and Electoral Violence in Nigeria".,, 05 Dec. 2018. Web. 26 May. 2019. < >.


Shittu, Nafiu. "The Media and Electoral Violence in Nigeria" (2018). Accessed May 26, 2019.