Friday 10 April 2015

Electoral Violence Risks in the 2015 Gubernatorial Elections

The build-up to the 2015 General Election in Nigeria has been marred by some violence. The CLEEN Foundation Security Threat Assessment published in March 2015 found 15 states to be on the red threat level. On the other hand, in its Pre-Election Report and Advisory on Violence in Nigeria’s 2015 General Elections NHRC documented that at least 58 persons have been killed in elections and politically related violence in Nigeria. More so, nearly 2 million people have been displaced in the North Eastern part of Nigeria as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency.

The March 28th Presidential Election has been hailed in many quarters as being largely peaceful and free of post-election violence. Some attribute this relative peace to the laudable decision of President Jonathan to concede the election even before the official final results were announced, while others attribute the outcome to the public commitment made by the key contenders to accept the outcome of the elections and their charge to their supporters to eschew violence.

Ahead of the Gubernatorial Elections however, key concerns remain for public safety and security in Nigeria. The gubernatorial elections present security challenges considering a number of factors namely: a) the likelihood of political parties to cling to, or win new states after consideration of the outcome of the presidential polls; b) the presence of local dynamics which might not have been in play in the presidential elections –including zoning of candidacy, power of incumbency as well as pressures to install a preferred candidate. This policy brief summarizes the risk of electoral violence ahead of the gubernatorial elections and presents recommendations.


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