Abbah Umaru, Joseph Amabu Agun, Umar Audu Mohammed


This paper focuses on the problem of thuggery in Nigerian democratic culture and suggests a way forward. Nigerian politics today has often been described as a “do or die affair”. The work is aimed at examining and providing a critical assessment of events that led to the issue of politicians trying to acquire position by all means. This was the predominant setting in which 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2015 and 2018 political campaigns and elections were conducted. The elections were carried out in almost every state of the federation amidst violence as political parties loyalists clashed with one another in what could best be described as armed political campaigns where hundreds of lives were lost.The paper, basically divided into five topics and captures the general introduction whichdiscuss the phenomenon of thuggery in the body politics of Nigeria. It consider and examines the reasons for the prevalent incidences of political thuggery particularly during and often re-run elections in the country. Many reasons, such as poverty and unemployment are advanced. The majority of youths in this Nation are jobless, with no means of livelihood. This makes them a willing tool for thuggery in the hands of desperate politicians. Other reasons are the phenomenon of the ruiling parties, lack of political ideology and principles and the absence of internal democracy in contemporary Nigerian political parties. These factors have largely encouraged dictatorship and arbitrariness among political leaders at different levels. It demonstrates the negative impact of thuggery in Nigerian democratic community, with particular reference to the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo ranging form 1999 – 2007 exemplified the role of thuggery in Nigerian democracy. Some effects of thuggery on the Nigerian democratic culture are also discussed and measures to curb the practice of thuggery in Nigerian democratic culture are suggested. 


Political Thurggery, Democratic culture, Unemployment, Poverty

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