Nigeria 2019 Election Conflict Watch Centre (CWC) I Report

Nigeria 2019 Election Conflict Watch Centre (CWC) I Report

By / Election Reports / Friday, 22 May 2020 10:06

Each election cycle across the country especially in the Niger Delta is often characterized by violence because for the contending parties and personalities, it is of high stakes; stakes to money, influence and prestige and stakes to power and authority. Despite the platform of the contending parties and the nature of the elections, be it presidential, gubernatorial or local contests, it is often marred by violence. Although, there are incidences and sporadic occurrences in other States of the Niger Delta, Rivers State often witnesses the most election violence and other forms of fatalities; Politics in the Niger Delta has often been characterized as high stakes issue and contest between personalities as much as it is between their platforms. Election cycles in Rivers State have recently been marred by violence, especially during gubernatorial and local contests. While there were some incidents of violence during the 2011 election cycle, Rivers experienced the most election violence incidents and fatalities of any Nigerian state during the 2015 contest, largely due to increasing competition between the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

The fight for supremacy has often led to the involvement of cultists as foot soldiers. These cult groups, such as the Icelanders, Greenlanders, Deywell or Deybam have often clashed leading to casualties and often death. It has been estimated that such clashes have killed several innocent people and have further complicated an already challenging operating environment for especially during election periods.

In the Niger Delta, Rivers State is politically significant due to its size, location, and natural resource wealth. According to the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics, Rivers has the second largest GDP after Lagos and contains vast reserves of crude oil and natural gas. According to Armed Conflict Location Event Data (ACLED), Rivers recorded the highest number of reported fatalities within the Niger Delta in 2015 and was sustained in 2016, with fatalities in the state finally decreasing in 2017.

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CIEPD Admin

Community Initiative for Enhanced Peace and Development (CIEPD)

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