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

                        We combat, and in some cases get rid of

                        blood to achieve and keep political

                        electrical power due to the fact for us in Nigeria, the

                        political kingdom has for much too very 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 electrical power in Nigeria. The use of thugs in Nigerian politics has not only led to squander of human sources, but it has also resulted in the dearth of in a position-bodied males who might be useful in the foreseeable future of Nigeria, and reduced participation of women of all ages in politics.

            With no doubt, Nigerian politics has given that independence, been characterised by thuggery and violence. Little ponder, politics is conceived as a soiled match and exceptional right of thugs and hooligans in Nigeria. Consequently, Nigeria politics manifest in acrimony, assault, assassination, intimidation, harassment, maiming and killing. This development is not a phenomenon of recency thuggery, brutality and violence political behaviour have been with us for the past 4 decades. Right away following independence the politicians, in an try to seize, exercising, and keep electrical power inside of their regional settings associated them selves in various functions that had been politically immature, unwise and distrastrous. They adopted a design and style that was antithetical to democratic tenet and good governance. They recruited, educated and empowered thugs to harass, intimidate and victimize perceived political opponents and opposing views towards their political ambition. This culture of thuggery has not only been imbibed and sustained as section of the country’s political behaviour given that independence to the existing instant, it has been one of the strong brings about of the reduced participation of women of all ages in politics. It is towards this qualifications that this paper examines thuggery and violence in Nigerian politics, its brings about, outcomes on women of all ages political participation and propose methods of ensuring maximum and substantial participation of Nigerian women of all ages in politics.


Knowing THE Concepts


            Thuggery according to the (Oxford Dictionary of Recent English (1998: 952), only signifies violent act or behaviour by ruffians. From the foregoing, it is noticed that thuggery is synonymous with violence.

            Howell described thug politics the tireless repetition of misleading specifics made to depict an opponent as individually despicable and in regard to governance as unsafe to bodily and religious lifetime of a nation (2004:3). Thuggery is an act characterised by rudeness, hooliganism, touting, intimidation and harassment. It is a behaviour that contradicts peace, harmony and co-existence amongst groups. Political thuggery is an illegitimate and violent signifies of seeking political electrical power with a watch to subverting countrywide view for parochial finishes by way of self imposition.

For that reason, political thuggery is only the criminalisation of politics. When politics is criminalized, it is still left in the hands of ruffians, thugs and hooligans, due to the fact the good people are scared away.


            Violence is described as “the illegitimate and unauthorized use of power to impact decisions towards the will or dreams of other folks” (Wolf, 1969:606).

            Karl Schmit (1968:3) posits that violence, specifically political violence, represents a disturbance to the political equilibrium technique. In accordance to Gurr (1970:2), political violence refers to all collective attacks inside of a political community towards the political routine, its actors which includes competing political groups as nicely as incumbents – or its insurance policies. From the foregoing, one can observe that there is a correlative romantic relationship amongst the two ideas. As a subject of simple fact, they are complementary. The end-merchandise of thuggery is violence. Violence is the signifies by way of which thugs achieve their aims.


            It is evident that Nigerian politics is characterised by thuggery. Equally, it is an indisputable simple fact that Nigerian politics is not violent-free of charge. In simple fact, modern gatherings, throughout the nation have plainly demonstrated that Nigerian politics has been hijacked by political thugs.

            Due to the fact the 60’s, no routine can be stated to be immune from this syndrome, both equally army and civilian governments have been partaking in this dastardly act. Thuggery has been elevated to a modern but regrettable status inside of the Nigeria polity. The quantity of thugs a politician can retain serves as a analyzing component for his electoral machinations and result. Place in different ways, the more thugs a politician has, the more related he gets in the culture. Thuggery has develop into a signifies to an end in Nigerian politics. It is a signifies of sustaining electrical power and lifetime, an asset that provides income for thugs for lifetime sustenance though it provides and sustains electrical power for their barons. It is an indispensable instrument in the hands of hungry electrical power seekers.

            Thuggery and Godfatherism have develop into so widespread in transitional system even in democratic dispensations. The social, political and economics status and stature of people associated have produced it a countrywide problem. Due to the fact Godfathers are them selves the ruling elite or prospective ruling elite, their pursuits have been institutionalized to the place of subverting the structure for parochialism and aggrandizement. Subscribing to this assertion, a scholar has tersely submitted that:

                                    Political godfathers are by design

                                    put higher than the rules of the land

                                    which includes the structure. They and their

                                    thugs can carry arms with no 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 educated for various political reasons these kinds of as intimidation, harassment, violence, assassination etc. some of them are put on frequent salaries, with allowances accompanying their remuneration. Some of them are used as unique advisers, unique assistants and individual assistants though people who do not in good shape in for the aforementioned positions are produced contractors to the government. Even now, some are compensated off right away following the usual assignment.

            The politicians recruit the youths comprising of males as their thugs and touts. Most of these thugs had been applied to rig elections in 2003 and 2007 general elections in Nigeria, specially in the south-west, where by most of the bye-elections had been monitored and conducted by political thugs as officers who had been formally specified to do the position had been overpowered by these hoodlums, creating disaster and violence in the voting venues. These thugs compelled harmless people to vote towards their needs. The celebration agents at the polling booths had been threatened to compromise, and INEC officials had been compelled to do what they would not have performed ordinarily.

            Adeyemi and Adeyemi (2003:370) express problem in excess of the problem of politics in Nigeria, when they observe that:

                                    Through 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 feasible use on opponents


            Poverty and unemployment – The majority of youth in this nation are jobless, with no signifies of livelihood, they are impoverished, and mercenary politics gets the way out. The politicians capitalize on this and recruit the youth who not only represent the pillar of culture but also the most susceptible to the self-inflicted poverty, as their thugs and touts to perpetrate violence.

Sit-limited Syndrome – This has gets a phenomenon in Nigerian politics. This is a problem in which an individual tries to hold on to electrical power for individual aggrandizement or gains. In an try to dangle on to electrical power, leaders typically generate a routine of violence, repression and bloodshed. They organize political thugs, hooligans and scavengers to sing their praises, intimidate opponents and get rid of them if they develop into intransigent (Oyatope, 2003:115). The unnecessary and uncoordinated urge to manage, dominate and amass wealth for their progeny in the infinite foreseeable future by the politicians informs the emergence of the sit-limited phenomenon

            Prebendal politics – In Nigeria, politics is conceived as an expenditure. The politicians, having invested colossally on campaigns and other political pursuits, coupled with the current technique of winner can take all, would want to win at all cost. And the have to have to hire the use of thugs and touts to distabilize and rig elections gets inevitable, specially when these kinds of politicians are not popular candidates.

            Refusal to take electoral defeat in good religion is also a fertile component that can breed thuggery and cause violence in politics.

            Absence of good governance and reduced political culture are also contributive aspects to the menace of thuggery and violence. Starvation, marginalisation, incapacitation, intolerance, domination, apathy and cynism etc can also trigger political violence.

            Esew (2003:232) Summarizes the brings about of political violence as follows: Domination and marginalization of sections and groups and individuals in the acquisition and sharing of political positions, rigging of elections and manipulation of political system in favour or towards sure groups, sections and individuals and slipping aside of sponsors and people sponsored (Godfather and God sons) in excess of contracts, appointments or techniques of management of states.


            The initially problem to be regarded as is the problem of thugs. Due to the fact it has been proven in this research, that the quantity of thugs a politician can retain serves as a analyzing component for his electoral machinations and result, the match might not be palatable for women of all ages. This is due to the fact women of all ages uncover it complicated if not extremely hard to breed and retain thugs for political reason. And this will undoubtedly affect her electoral machinations and result. Also, thanks to the around anarchical nature of Nigerian polity and culture, women of all ages who want to take part in politics usually find out that the political natural environment is typically unfriendly. Rather than becoming democratized, the Nigerian point out has largely been militarized by the struggle for electrical power amongst the various contending groups in the polity. The civil disturbances, rise of ethnic militias and politically inspired killings of opponents are tips to escalating or simmering militarism of the Nigeria point out, which has more discouraged women of all ages from taking part in politics.

            Another significant problem is the normal stature of women of all ages as weaker intercourse. Girls obviously are not as strong as males and so can not be engaged in thuggery. As a subject of emphasis, lady nature deters thuggery and violence and not willing to interact in these kinds of. No lady wants to be witnessed as thug or perceived as sponsor of these kinds of. Girls like to protect their dignity anyplace they discovered them selves. And given that Nigeria political terrain embraces thuggery and violence, it gets complicated for women of all ages to contend favourably with males in these kinds of problem.

            Furthermore, is the “Light-weight Heart” imbued in women of all ages. Girls can not struggle in the environment of rancour and violence. The fear of becoming attacked is always in their coronary heart, their head is not as strong as that of males. As mothers, women of all ages can not possibility anybody’s lifetime for election victory which the males in Nigerian politics care fewer about (Olugbemi, 2004:233).

            Thuggery and violence are not gender neutral. Male youths and males dedicate a great deal 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 different 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 way of violent struggle, which can not be carried out by a man or woman with mild coronary heart. I have a functional encounter to illumine this place. Through the gubernatorial election disaster in Ondo Condition, Nigeria, in the 12 months 2007, INEC, an electoral body in cost of general elections, delayed the announcement of consequence of the Governorship election people mobilized them selves to INEC Place of work to be certain that the results had been not manipulated. I was amongst the multitude that staged the protest: At a place, Policemen arrived into the scene and commenced taking pictures sporadically into the air, the upcoming thing I heard was a phone call from my spouse weeping profusely by means of the phone that I should come back again house and enable INEC officials to do no matter what they want to do with the consequence. Though I was prepared to possibility my lifetime to avoid the election results from becoming manipulated, my spouse was a great deal anxious about my lifetime. I could not disregard her cry that I experienced to depart the location right away. I know that quite a few wives would have named their husbands that very same working day in these kinds of fashion, though quite a few mothers would also have performed very same to their youngsters. This is fact. Girls have no coronary heart to harbour thuggery and violence that accompany politics in Nigeria.

            Past but not the the very least is self-complacency becoming exhibited by women of all ages in time of political disaster and violence. When political natural environment is saturated with violence women of all ages tends to display screen complacency, specially the Yoruba women of all ages, from the south western section of Nigeria. They desire to stay where by they are and maintain the status quo than to be engulfed with disaster and violence in the system of producing a modify. This attitude can not be certain enough participation of women of all ages in Nigeria politics. This is due to the fact of the perpetual fear in their head. For occasion all the women of all ages that contested for assembly seat and misplaced in Ondo Condition, Nigeria did not go to courtroom to problem the victory of the winners at the election. Even even though, some of the losers arrived from the ruling celebration, but the courage and boldness to problem was lacking. The purpose for this can not be farfetched it is only due to the fact the political natural environment was tensed with thuggery and violence. Politicians in the point out had been living less than a perpetual fear. None could slumber with his two eyes closed as politicians had been regularly becoming attacked, intimidated, harassed and killed. Girls have no house in their body technique to accommodate this perpetual fear and threat. And this tends to limitations their electoral victory, and therefore their participation in politics.


            This paper has discussed extensively political thuggery and violence as the bane of women of all ages participation in politics in Nigeria. It has been proven in this paper that women of all ages folks do not subscribe to thuggish and violent behaviour that now defines and situates Nigeria politics. And so, limit their political participation.

            In get to be certain that more women of all ages take part in politics, the Nigerian point out and the political milieu have to be more democratic, secured and peaceful to pave way for more entrance of women of all ages into lively participatory politics. With good governance, enduring democracy and a democratic political culture that encourages peace and orderliness, and eschews thuggery and violence, it is believed that women of all ages participation in politics will be on the increase in the foreseeable foreseeable future.


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