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 instances—such 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.
Nafiu, S (2018). The Media and Electoral Violence in Nigeria. Afribary.com: Retrieved May 26, 2019, from https://afribary.com/works/the-media-and-electoral-violence-in-nigeria
Shittu, Nafiu. "The Media and Electoral Violence in Nigeria" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 05 Dec. 2018, https://afribary.com/works/the-media-and-electoral-violence-in-nigeria . Accessed 26 May. 2019.
Shittu, Nafiu. "The Media and Electoral Violence in Nigeria". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 05 Dec. 2018. Web. 26 May. 2019. < https://afribary.com/works/the-media-and-electoral-violence-in-nigeria >.
Shittu, Nafiu. "The Media and Electoral Violence in Nigeria" Afribary.com (2018). Accessed May 26, 2019. https://afribary.com/works/the-media-and-electoral-violence-in-nigeria