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  • COHEN Corentin (2015) Violence between and within political parties in Nigeria: statistics, structures and patterns (2006 - 2014)

COHEN Corentin (2015) Violence between and within political parties in Nigeria: statistics, structures and patterns (2006 - 2014)

Executive Summary

Acts of violence between or within political parties in Nigeria are usually associated with general elections and their spectacular death toll. This research uses statistical tools to analyse this violence during the 2006–2014 period. Patterns of political violence between the 2007 and 2011 general elections differ strongly. During the 2007 election, killings occurred mainly within parties or were linked to the campaign. During the 2011 elections, however, most casualties were reported after the announcement of the results. Nevertheless, it appears that killings related to general elections accounted for less than 50% of the total number of such fatalities as they were reported between 2006 and 2014. A large share of party violence is ignored, as it is mostly internal or with a low lethality rate. Arguably, violence is a means used by the political elite, rather than the people’s choice to protest against fraud. Levels of violence vary between parties and between states. As the ruling party, the PDP is a central actor, involved in 97% of the casualties of party clashes. Over the period under study, some events are particularly distinctive because of their large number of casualties and their links to ethnic, religious, or economic tensions.

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