Olusegun Obasanjo (2002: 50-fifty one) asserts:

                        We battle, and often shed

                        blood to achieve and retain political

                        electrical power since for us in Nigeria, the

                        political kingdom has for way too prolonged been

                        the gateway to the financial kingdom

The foregoing assertion captures the information and context of political thuggery and violence in Nigeria. The assertion demonstrates how blood is becoming exchanged for political electrical power in Nigeria. The use of thugs in Nigerian politics has not only led to waste of human methods, but it has also resulted in the dearth of capable-bodied gentlemen who may perhaps be helpful in the long run of Nigeria, and very low participation of gals in politics.

            Devoid of doubt, Nigerian politics has considering that independence, been characterized by thuggery and violence. Little question, politics is conceived as a soiled game and unique correct of thugs and hooligans in Nigeria. Consequently, Nigeria politics manifest in acrimony, assault, assassination, intimidation, harassment, maiming and killing. This pattern is not a phenomenon of recency thuggery, brutality and violence political conduct have been with us for the earlier four a long time. Straight away following independence the politicians, in an attempt to capture, training, and retain electrical power inside their regional settings involved them selves in numerous acts that were being politically immature, unwise and distrastrous. They adopted a type that was antithetical to democratic tenet and superior governance. They recruited, properly trained and empowered thugs to harass, intimidate and victimize perceived political opponents and opposing views in opposition to their political ambition. This lifestyle of thuggery has not only been imbibed and sustained as part of the country’s political conduct considering that independence to the current minute, it has been a person of the potent triggers of the very low participation of gals in politics. It is in opposition to this background that this paper examines thuggery and violence in Nigerian politics, its triggers, effects on gals political participation and advise ways of guaranteeing most and superior participation of Nigerian gals in politics.


Comprehension THE Ideas


            Thuggery in accordance to the (Oxford Dictionary of Latest English (1998: 952), merely suggests violent act or conduct by ruffians. From the foregoing, it is observed that thuggery is synonymous with violence.

            Howell described thug politics the tireless repetition of misleading information intended to depict an opponent as personally despicable and in regard to governance as hazardous to physical and spiritual daily life of a country (2004:3). Thuggery is an act characterized by rudeness, hooliganism, touting, intimidation and harassment. It is a conduct that contradicts peace, harmony and co-existence amongst groups. Political thuggery is an illegitimate and violent suggests of in search of political electrical power with a see to subverting countrywide belief for parochial ends by means of self imposition.

Therefore, political thuggery is merely the criminalisation of politics. When politics is criminalized, it is remaining in the arms of ruffians, thugs and hooligans, since the superior folks are worried away.


            Violence is described as “the illegitimate and unauthorized use of force to effect conclusions in opposition to the will or desires of many others” (Wolf, 1969:606).

            Karl Schmit (1968:3) posits that violence, especially political violence, signifies a disturbance to the political equilibrium program. In accordance to Gurr (1970:two), political violence refers to all collective assaults inside a political neighborhood in opposition to the political regime, its actors which include competing political groups as very well as incumbents – or its insurance policies. From the foregoing, a person can notice that there is a correlative romantic relationship involving the two ideas. As a issue of simple fact, they are complementary. The finish-product of thuggery is violence. Violence is the suggests by means of which thugs achieve their aims.


            It is obvious that Nigerian politics is characterized by thuggery. Equally, it is an indisputable simple fact that Nigerian politics is not violent-cost-free. In simple fact, contemporary gatherings, across the country have obviously shown that Nigerian politics has been hijacked by political thugs.

            Because the 60’s, no regime can be mentioned to be immune from this syndrome, equally military services and civilian governments have been partaking in this dastardly act. Thuggery has been elevated to a fashionable but regrettable standing inside the Nigeria polity. The range of thugs a politician can preserve serves as a analyzing factor for his electoral machinations and final result. Place otherwise, the extra thugs a politician has, the extra pertinent he will become in the society. Thuggery has turn into a suggests to an finish in Nigerian politics. It is a suggests of sustaining electrical power and daily life, an asset that brings income for thugs for daily life sustenance when it brings and sustains electrical power for their barons. It is an indispensable instrument in the arms of hungry electrical power seekers.

            Thuggery and Godfatherism have turn into so prevalent in transitional process even in democratic dispensations. The social, political and economics standing and stature of people involved have created it a countrywide worry. Because Godfathers are them selves the ruling elite or prospective ruling elite, their activities have been institutionalized to the position of subverting the constitution for parochialism and aggrandizement. Subscribing to this assertion, a scholar has tersely submitted that:

                                    Political godfathers are by style

                                    placed higher than the laws of the land

                                    which include the constitution. They and their

                                    thugs can have arms with out hindrance.

                                    They are entitled to Police escorts

                                    and are immune to the crime of abduction,

harassment and maiming (Gboyega, 2004:6).

Most of these thugs are recruited and properly trained for numerous political applications this sort of as intimidation, harassment, violence, assassination and many others. some of them are placed on common salaries, with allowances accompanying their remuneration. Some of them are utilized as distinctive advisers, distinctive assistants and private assistants when people who do not suit in for the aforementioned positions are created contractors to the authorities. Nonetheless, some are paid out off promptly following the standard assignment.

            The politicians recruit the youths comprising of gentlemen as their thugs and touts. Most of these thugs were being made use of to rig elections in 2003 and 2007 typical elections in Nigeria, specifically in the south-west, where most of the bye-elections were being monitored and performed by political thugs as officers who were being formally selected to do the task were being overpowered by these hoodlums, producing disaster and violence in the voting venues. These thugs compelled innocent folks to vote in opposition to their needs. The party agents at the polling booths were being threatened to compromise, and INEC officials were being forced to do what they would not have performed ordinarily.

            Adeyemi and Adeyemi (2003:370) express worry more than the predicament of politics in Nigeria, when they notice that:

                                    In the course of the ward congress   of the PDP,

                                    an intra-party affair, lots of politicians

                                    went to the congress venue armed

                                    with assault rifles and acid containers

                                    for attainable use on opponents


            Poverty and unemployment – The the greater part of youth in this country are jobless, with no suggests of livelihood, they are impoverished, and mercenary politics will become the way out. The politicians capitalize on this and recruit the youth who not only represent the pillar of society but also the most vulnerable to the self-inflicted poverty, as their thugs and touts to perpetrate violence.

Sit-limited Syndrome – This has will become a phenomenon in Nigerian politics. This is a predicament in which an unique attempts to hold on to electrical power for private aggrandizement or gains. In an attempt to hold on to electrical power, leaders generally make a regime of violence, repression and bloodshed. They manage political thugs, hooligans and scavengers to sing their praises, intimidate opponents and get rid of them if they turn into intransigent (Oyatope, 2003:a hundred and fifteen). The unneeded and uncoordinated urge to management, dominate and amass wealth for their progeny in the infinite long run by the politicians informs the emergence of the sit-limited phenomenon

            Prebendal politics – In Nigeria, politics is conceived as an expense. The politicians, owning invested colossally on strategies and other political activities, coupled with the existing program of winner takes all, would want to acquire at all value. And the require to employ the use of thugs and touts to distabilize and rig elections will become inevitable, specifically when this sort of politicians are not common candidates.

            Refusal to acknowledge electoral defeat in superior faith is also a fertile factor that can breed thuggery and cause violence in politics.

            Absence of superior governance and very low political lifestyle are also contributive factors to the menace of thuggery and violence. Starvation, marginalisation, incapacitation, intolerance, domination, apathy and cynism and many others can also cause political violence.

            Esew (2003:232) Summarizes the triggers of political violence as follows: Domination and marginalization of sections and groups and people in the acquisition and sharing of political positions, rigging of elections and manipulation of political process in favour or in opposition to specified groups, sections and people and falling aside of sponsors and people sponsored (Godfather and God sons) more than contracts, appointments or techniques of administration of states.


            The to start with concern to be regarded is the concern of thugs. Because it has been recognized in this research, that the range of thugs a politician can preserve serves as a analyzing factor for his electoral machinations and final result, the game may perhaps not be palatable for gals. This is since gals obtain it tricky if not difficult to breed and preserve thugs for political goal. And this will absolutely impact her electoral machinations and final result. Also, because of to the around anarchical mother nature of Nigerian polity and society, gals who want to participate in politics normally learn that the political environment is generally unfriendly. Instead than becoming democratized, the Nigerian condition has mostly been militarized by the battle for electrical power amongst the numerous contending groups in the polity. The civil disturbances, increase of ethnic militias and politically determined killings of opponents are tips to increasing or simmering militarism of the Nigeria condition, which has further discouraged gals from taking part in politics.

            An additional vital concern is the organic stature of gals as weaker sexual intercourse. Girls in a natural way are not as solid as gentlemen and so can not be engaged in thuggery. As a issue of emphasis, girl mother nature deters thuggery and violence and not keen to interact in this sort of. No girl would like to be noticed as thug or perceived as sponsor of this sort of. Girls like to preserve their dignity anyplace they found them selves. And considering that Nigeria political terrain embraces thuggery and violence, it will become tricky for gals to contend favourably with gentlemen in this sort of predicament.

            In addition, is the “Gentle Heart” imbued in gals. Girls can not battle in the environment of rancour and violence. The worry of becoming attacked is generally in their heart, their mind is not as solid as that of gentlemen. As moms, gals can not danger anybody’s daily life for election victory which the gentlemen in Nigerian politics treatment fewer about (Olugbemi, 2004:233).

            Thuggery and violence are not gender neutral. Male youths and gentlemen commit significantly of the political violence in the course of the entire world. Males are at the centre of political tussles. The killings and destructions claimed from the distinct political dispensations results from men’s quest for electrical power (Adeniyi, 2003:350). Male formulate and finance political crises. Consequently, the attainment of political electrical power in Nigeria is by means of violent battle, which can not be undertaken by a man or woman with mild heart. I have a realistic encounter to illumine this position. In the course of the gubernatorial election disaster in Ondo Condition, Nigeria, in the yr 2007, INEC, an electoral physique in cost of typical elections, delayed the announcement of end result of the Governorship election folks mobilized them selves to INEC Workplace to make sure that the results were being not manipulated. I was amongst the multitude that staged the protest: At a position, Policemen came into the scene and began shooting sporadically into the air, the following issue I heard was a telephone phone from my spouse weeping profusely through the telephone that I need to occur again home and make it possible for INEC officials to do what ever they want to do with the end result. While I was prepared to danger my daily life to prevent the election results from becoming manipulated, my spouse was significantly anxious about my daily life. I could not dismiss her cry that I experienced to depart the venue promptly. I know that numerous wives would have referred to as their husbands that identical working day in this sort of method, when numerous moms would also have performed identical to their small children. This is fact. Girls have no heart to harbour thuggery and violence that accompany politics in Nigeria.

            Past but not the minimum is self-complacency becoming exhibited by gals in time of political disaster and violence. When political environment is saturated with violence gals tends to display complacency, specifically the Yoruba gals, from the south western part of Nigeria. They desire to stay where they are and maintain the standing quo than to be engulfed with disaster and violence in the process of generating a transform. This perspective can not make sure sufficient participation of gals in Nigeria politics. This is since of the perpetual worry in their mind. For occasion all the gals that contested for assembly seat and shed in Ondo Condition, Nigeria did not go to courtroom to obstacle the victory of the winners at the election. Even nevertheless, some of the losers came from the ruling party, but the courage and boldness to obstacle was lacking. The purpose for this can not be farfetched it is merely since the political environment was tensed with thuggery and violence. Politicians in the condition were being dwelling beneath a perpetual worry. None could rest with his two eyes closed as politicians were being frequently becoming attacked, intimidated, harassed and killed. Girls have no space in their physique program to accommodate this perpetual worry and hazard. And this tends to restrictions their electoral victory, and as a result their participation in politics.


            This paper has talked over extensively political thuggery and violence as the bane of gals participation in politics in Nigeria. It has been recognized in this paper that gals people do not subscribe to thuggish and violent conduct that currently defines and situates Nigeria politics. And so, limit their political participation.

            In buy to make sure that extra gals participate in politics, the Nigerian condition and the political milieu have to be extra democratic, secured and peaceful to pave way for further entrance of gals into lively participatory politics. With superior governance, enduring democracy and a democratic political lifestyle that encourages peace and orderliness, and eschews thuggery and violence, it is thought that gals participation in politics will be on the enhance in the foreseeable long run.


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