ELECTION VIOLENCE IN NIGERIA AND THE WAY FORWARD
2019 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN PERSPECTIVE.
Keywords:Violence, Money Politics, Rigging, Political parties, Way Forward
Election violence can be defined as those illegitimate, obscured means and instrumentality employed by the major actors in electoral process in order to achieve victory at the expense of others. The resultant effect of election violence is illegitimacy of government and loss of confidence in the electoral process from the comity of nations. Overtime elections in Nigeria have metamorphosed to an alarming violent situation. This assertion came to its climax during 2019 General election, which played out between February and March 2019. The study undertakes a critical review of 2019 elections in Nigeria from Presidential to Governorship Elections. Empirical evidences from the field, comprising the licensed election observers, those who played direct or indirect roles during the 2019 elections, such as electoral workers, government agencies or representatives of the political parties, the media, and the security agencieswere also examined. Data gathered from the field during the elections as well as other secondary sources were critically examined using the exploratory and descriptive analytical method.The thrust of this analysis is enshrined in the various themes and sub themes selected. In analyzing the data all the factors responsible for various forms of malpractices observed during the elections were unmasked. The game theory is deployed in this analysis for a comprehensive grasp of the subject matter. Conclusively, from the observations made, solutions were proffered to drastically reduce or completely eliminate election violence in Nigeria and make the process truly free, fair and credible. This will enhance its acceptability at the global stage.