Kenneth Gwediananie Amos (PhD), Lovegod Seaman Ogbotubo


Political parties have become essential components of the electoral process and democracy in particular. This position is informed by the role it plays in driving the democratic system through sustained party ideology. Within the context of Nigeria democracy, political parties have become instrument or vehicle that drives violence in an attempt to secure political power and subsequently use it for the projection of personal interest. It is within this context that this work examines political parties and electoral violence in Nigeria with a particular interest to the 2015 and 2019 elections in Bayelsa State. We adopted the descriptive research design as a roadmap or blue print in carrying out this work. This method enhanced in describing the views of stakeholders such as electorates, political party gladiators and observers. The relative deprivation theory, an offshoot of frustration – aggression theory serves as our theoretical model of explanation. In its findings, the study shows that electoral violence in the 2015 and 2019 general elections in Bayelsa State were mainly driven by the struggle for political power by ethnic groups and political elites alike. Other factors identified are internal party wrangling, as well as hijacking and kidnapping of election materials and officials. As part of its recommendations, the study contends that political parties in Nigeria should institutionalize internal democracy in their affairs. This if upheld, will breed unity of purpose. We equally recommend that government should enact laws that discourage the application of ethnic jingoism and primordial interest by political party gladiators in their quest for political power.


political parties, election, electoral violence, democracy, political gladiators.

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