Olusegun Obasanjo (2002: 50-fifty one) asserts:
We fight, and at times drop
blood to reach and retain political
ability since for us in Nigeria, the
political kingdom has for as well long been
the gateway to the economic kingdom
The foregoing assertion captures the content and context of political thuggery and violence in Nigeria. The assertion demonstrates how blood is becoming exchanged for political ability in Nigeria. The use of thugs in Nigerian politics has not only led to waste of human sources, but it has also resulted in the dearth of in a position-bodied adult males who may well be practical in the long run of Nigeria, and very low participation of women in politics.
With out question, Nigerian politics has given that independence, been characterised by thuggery and violence. Small wonder, politics is conceived as a soiled activity and unique ideal of thugs and hooligans in Nigeria. As a result, Nigeria politics manifest in acrimony, assault, assassination, intimidation, harassment, maiming and killing. This craze is not a phenomenon of recency thuggery, brutality and violence political behaviour have been with us for the earlier 4 decades. Quickly following independence the politicians, in an attempt to capture, training, and retain ability within their regional settings involved by themselves in several acts that have been politically immature, unwise and distrastrous. They adopted a style that was antithetical to democratic tenet and great governance. They recruited, experienced and empowered thugs to harass, intimidate and victimize perceived political opponents and opposing views from their political ambition. This lifestyle of thuggery has not only been imbibed and sustained as part of the country’s political behaviour given that independence to the existing second, it has been a person of the potent will cause of the very low participation of women in politics. It is from this background that this paper examines thuggery and violence in Nigerian politics, its will cause, effects on women political participation and recommend methods of ensuring highest and high participation of Nigerian women in politics.
Understanding THE Ideas
Thuggery in accordance to the (Oxford Dictionary of Latest English (1998: 952), simply usually means violent act or behaviour by ruffians. From the foregoing, it is observed that thuggery is synonymous with violence.
Howell described thug politics the tireless repetition of deceptive info designed to depict an opponent as individually despicable and in regard to governance as hazardous to bodily and religious daily life of a nation (2004:three). Thuggery is an act characterised by rudeness, hooliganism, touting, intimidation and harassment. It is a behaviour that contradicts peace, harmony and co-existence amid groups. Political thuggery is an illegitimate and violent usually means of trying to get political ability with a check out to subverting national viewpoint for parochial ends by self imposition.
Hence, political thuggery is simply the criminalisation of politics. When politics is criminalized, it is still left in the hands of ruffians, thugs and hooligans, since the great individuals are frightened absent.
Violence is described as “the illegitimate and unauthorized use of pressure to outcome decisions from the will or needs of some others” (Wolf, 1969:606).
Karl Schmit (1968:three) posits that violence, significantly political violence, represents a disturbance to the political equilibrium program. In accordance to Gurr (1970:2), political violence refers to all collective attacks within a political local community from the political routine, its actors such as competing political groups as well as incumbents – or its guidelines. From the foregoing, a person can observe that there is a correlative romantic relationship involving the two principles. As a make any difference of point, they are complementary. The conclude-merchandise of thuggery is violence. Violence is the usually means by which thugs reach their aims.
THUGGERY AND VIOLENCE IN NIGERIAN POLITICS
It is obvious that Nigerian politics is characterised by thuggery. In the same way, it is an indeniable point that Nigerian politics is not violent-no cost. In point, up to date functions, across the place have clearly demonstrated that Nigerian politics has been hijacked by political thugs.
Considering the fact that the 60’s, no routine can be explained to be immune from this syndrome, each navy and civilian governments have been partaking in this dastardly act. Thuggery has been elevated to a stylish but regrettable standing within the Nigeria polity. The range of thugs a politician can keep serves as a pinpointing element for his electoral machinations and consequence. Put in different ways, the extra thugs a politician has, the extra appropriate he will become in the society. Thuggery has turn out to be a usually means to an conclude in Nigerian politics. It is a usually means of sustaining ability and daily life, an asset that delivers funds for thugs for daily life sustenance even though it delivers and sustains ability for their barons. It is an indispensable instrument in the hands of hungry ability seekers.
Thuggery and Godfatherism have turn out to be so commonplace in transitional method even in democratic dispensations. The social, political and economics standing and stature of those involved have produced it a national concern. Considering the fact that Godfathers are by themselves the ruling elite or probable ruling elite, their routines have been institutionalized to the level of subverting the structure for parochialism and aggrandizement. Subscribing to this assertion, a scholar has tersely submitted that:
Political godfathers are by structure
placed earlier mentioned the legal guidelines of the land
such as the structure. They and their
thugs can have arms without having hindrance.
They are entitled to Law enforcement escorts
and are immune to the criminal offense of abduction,
harassment and maiming (Gboyega, 2004:six).
Most of these thugs are recruited and experienced for several political purposes this kind of as intimidation, harassment, violence, assassination and so forth. some of them are placed on normal salaries, with allowances accompanying their remuneration. Some of them are used as special advisers, special assistants and individual assistants even though those who do not match in for the aforementioned positions are produced contractors to the govt. Nevertheless, some are paid off promptly following the regular assignment.
The politicians recruit the youths comprising of adult males as their thugs and touts. Most of these thugs have been employed to rig elections in 2003 and 2007 basic elections in Nigeria, in particular in the south-west, where by most of the bye-elections have been monitored and performed by political thugs as officers who have been officially selected to do the occupation have been overpowered by these hoodlums, producing disaster and violence in the voting venues. These thugs compelled harmless individuals to vote from their wishes. The celebration brokers at the polling booths have been threatened to compromise, and INEC officials have been compelled to do what they would not have finished ordinarily.
Adeyemi and Adeyemi (2003:370) specific concern around the circumstance of politics in Nigeria, when they observe that:
In the course of the ward congress of the PDP,
an intra-celebration affair, many politicians
went to the congress location armed
with assault rifles and acid containers
for attainable use on opponents
Triggers OF POLITICAL THUGGERY AND VIOLENCE IN NIGERIA
Poverty and unemployment – The the vast majority of youth in this nation are jobless, with no usually means 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 constitute the pillar of society but also the most vulnerable to the self-inflicted poverty, as their thugs and touts to perpetrate violence.
Sit-restricted Syndrome – This has will become a phenomenon in Nigerian politics. This is a circumstance in which an personal tries to maintain on to ability for individual aggrandizement or gains. In an attempt to dangle on to ability, leaders usually build a routine of violence, repression and bloodshed. They arrange political thugs, hooligans and scavengers to sing their praises, intimidate opponents and eliminate them if they turn out to be intransigent (Oyatope, 2003:one hundred fifteen). The unnecessary and uncoordinated urge to control, dominate and amass prosperity for their progeny in the infinite long run by the politicians informs the emergence of the sit-restricted phenomenon
Prebendal politics – In Nigeria, politics is conceived as an expenditure. The politicians, acquiring invested colossally on strategies and other political routines, coupled with the existing program of winner will take all, would want to get at all price. And the will need to make use of the use of thugs and touts to distabilize and rig elections will become inevitable, in particular when this kind of politicians are not common candidates.
Refusal to settle for electoral defeat in great religion is also a fertile element that can breed thuggery and induce violence in politics.
Absence of great governance and very low political lifestyle are also contributive variables to the menace of thuggery and violence. Starvation, marginalisation, incapacitation, intolerance, domination, apathy and cynism and so forth can also lead to political violence.
Esew (2003:232) Summarizes the will cause 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 method in favour or from sure groups, sections and people and slipping apart of sponsors and those sponsored (Godfather and God sons) around contracts, appointments or methods of management of states.
Outcomes OF POLITICAL THUGGERY AND VIOLENCE ON WOMEN PARTICIPATION IN POLITICS
The initially challenge to be thought of is the challenge of thugs. Considering the fact that it has been founded in this review, that the range of thugs a politician can keep serves as a pinpointing element for his electoral machinations and consequence, the activity may well not be palatable for women. This is since women obtain it challenging if not difficult to breed and keep thugs for political intent. And this will absolutely impact her electoral machinations and consequence. Also, owing to the in the vicinity of anarchical nature of Nigerian polity and society, women who want to take part in politics generally explore that the political natural environment is usually unfriendly. Somewhat than becoming democratized, the Nigerian state has largely been militarized by the struggle for ability amongst the several contending groups in the polity. The civil disturbances, increase of ethnic militias and politically motivated killings of opponents are tips to increasing or simmering militarism of the Nigeria state, which has even further discouraged women from taking part in politics.
A further important challenge is the natural stature of women as weaker intercourse. Women normally are not as strong as adult males and so can not be engaged in thuggery. As a make any difference of emphasis, lady nature deters thuggery and violence and not willing to interact in this kind of. No lady would like to be witnessed as thug or perceived as sponsor of this kind of. Women like to maintain their dignity anywhere they identified by themselves. And given that Nigeria political terrain embraces thuggery and violence, it will become challenging for women to contend favourably with adult males in this kind of circumstance.
In addition, is the “Gentle Coronary heart” imbued in women. Women can not struggle in the environment of rancour and violence. The worry of becoming attacked is normally in their heart, their thoughts is not as strong as that of adult males. As moms, women can not risk anybody’s daily life for election victory which the adult males in Nigerian politics care a lot less about (Olugbemi, 2004:233).
Thuggery and violence are not gender neutral. Male youths and adult males dedicate substantially of the political violence in the course of the planet. Males are at the centre of political tussles. The killings and destructions reported from the distinct political dispensations success from men’s quest for ability (Adeniyi, 2003:350). Male formulate and finance political crises. As a result, the attainment of political ability in Nigeria is by violent struggle, which can not be carried out by a person with gentle heart. I have a useful encounter to illumine this level. In the course of the gubernatorial election disaster in Ondo Condition, Nigeria, in the 12 months 2007, INEC, an electoral overall body in cost of basic elections, delayed the announcement of end result of the Governorship election individuals mobilized by themselves to INEC Business office to make sure that the success have been not manipulated. I was amid the multitude that staged the protest: At a level, Policemen came into the scene and begun shooting sporadically into the air, the subsequent factor I listened to was a telephone contact from my wife weeping profusely through the telephone that I should really come back again home and allow for INEC officials to do no matter what they want to do with the end result. Though I was prepared to risk my daily life to reduce the election success from becoming manipulated, my wife was substantially concerned about my daily life. I could not disregard her cry that I experienced to depart the location promptly. I know that several wives would have known as their husbands that identical working day in this kind of manner, even though several moms would also have finished identical to their children. This is reality. Women have no heart to harbour thuggery and violence that accompany politics in Nigeria.
Last but not the minimum is self-complacency becoming exhibited by women in time of political disaster and violence. When political natural environment is saturated with violence women tends to display complacency, in particular the Yoruba women, from the south western part of Nigeria. They prefer to continue to be where by they are and keep the standing quo than to be engulfed with disaster and violence in the method of generating a alter. This mind-set can not make sure enough participation of women in Nigeria politics. This is since of the perpetual worry in their thoughts. For occasion all the women that contested for assembly seat and shed in Ondo Condition, Nigeria did not go to court docket to problem the victory of the winners at the election. Even however, some of the losers came from the ruling celebration, but the courage and boldness to problem was lacking. The explanation for this can not be farfetched it is simply since the political natural environment was tensed with thuggery and violence. Politicians in the state have been dwelling below a perpetual worry. None could snooze with his two eyes closed as politicians have been regularly becoming attacked, intimidated, harassed and killed. Women have no room in their overall body program to accommodate this perpetual worry and risk. And this tends to limits their electoral victory, and therefore their participation in politics.
This paper has reviewed extensively political thuggery and violence as the bane of women participation in politics in Nigeria. It has been founded in this paper that women folk do not subscribe to thuggish and violent behaviour that at present defines and situates Nigeria politics. And so, restrict their political participation.
In buy to make sure that extra women take part in politics, the Nigerian state and the political milieu have to be extra democratic, secured and peaceful to pave way for even further entrance of women into lively participatory politics. With great governance, enduring democracy and a democratic political lifestyle that encourages peace and orderliness, and eschews thuggery and violence, it is believed that women participation in politics will be on the increase in the foreseeable long run.
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