This study is on social menace of political thuggery of 2019 election. A case study of Sokoto North. The total population for the study is 200 residents of Sokoto North. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made civil servants, youths, elderly men and elderly women were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies
- Background of the study
Political thuggery and electoral manipulations have become so prevalent in democratic dispensations in Nigeria. The social, political and economic powers of those involved have made it both national and international concern. These categories of people who possess these powers are the ruling elite or the potential ruling elite and their activities have been institutionalized to the point of subverting the constitution for their selfish and economic gains. Subscribing to this assertion, Gboyega (2004) observed that political godfathers are by design placed above the laws of the land including the constitution. They and their thugs can carry arms without hindrance. They are entitled to Police escorts and are immune to the crime of abduction, harassment and maiming. Most of these thugs are recruited and trained for various political purposes such as intimidation, harassment, violence, assassination, rigging etc. Some of them are placed on regular salaries, with allowances accompanying their remuneration. Similarly, some of them are employed as special advisers, special assistants and personal assistants while those who do not fit in for the aforementioned positions are made contractors to the government at Federal, State or Local Government Areas.
Most of these thugs were used to rig elections in 2019 general elections in Nigeria, especially in in Sokoto North, where most of the elections were monitored and conducted by political thugs under the cover of INEC`s ad-hoc staff. Infact, the officers who were officially assigned to do the job were overpowered by these political thugs through pointing out gun to them, causing crisis and violence in the voting venues. These thugs forced electorates to vote against their wishes. The party representatives at the polling booths were threatened to compromise, and INEC officials were forced to change election results in favour of a particular party. Masses who want to participate in politics found it very difficult to penetrate the electoral environment because of money politics. Therefore, rather than being democratized, the Nigerian state has largely been militarized by the struggle for power amongst the various contending groups in the polity. The civil disturbances, rise of ethnic militias and politically motivated killings of opponents are pointers to increasing militarism of the Nigeria state, which has further affected socio-economic and political development of the state.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Over the years the activities of thugs in Nigeria have been recognized and powerfully backed by the political class. Thus, it has gone beyond what is known or seen in the first, second or the aborted third republic as Nda-Isaiah (2004) observed that thuggery has even gone beyond that of the second republic. The trade is no longer for the rag-tag hoodlums that it used to be. Today, thuggery has been given new garb of legitimacy by the political class. The presence of energetic (but aggressive) youths can be noticed in the name of body guards. Unfortunately physical realities have shown that violent activities are carried out while political activities like campaigns/elections are going on. The teeming youths who are supposed to have been harnessed or trained towards nation building are used (misused rather) by politicians particularly those in power (and the opposition) to harass and intimidate the opposition including the innocent citizens and at worse maim and kill under the influence of drugs and political power. Thus, their precious energy is misused in destabilizing the society. The major problem is that instead of stopping such activities it is often regarded as normal way of politics and those in power often provide the platform upon which ugly political thuggery is committed
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the study are;
- To ascertain the relationship between social menace and political thuggery in 2019 elections
- To ascertain the impact of political thuggery on Nigeria democracy
- To examine the causes of political thuggery in 2019 general elections in Nigeria
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: there is no relationship between social menace and political thuggery in 2019 election.
H1: there is relationship between social menace and political thuggery in 2019 election.
H02: there are no causes of political thuggery in 2019 general elections in Nigeria.
H2: there are causes of political thuggery in 2019 general elections in Nigeria
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will be very significant to students, government and the general public. The study will give a clear insight on the social menace of political thuggery of 2019 general elections. The study will also serve as a reference to other researchers that will embark on this topic or related topic
- SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers social menace of political thuggery of 2019 general election. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
- b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
MENACE: a person or thing that is likely to cause harm; a threat or danger.
POLITICAL THUGGERY: Political thuggery is an aspect of social violence which is devastating in Nigerian democracy. The menace has become detrimental to democratic sustainability in Nigerian politics in which thugs move mostly in groups victimising, terrorising, intimidating, and injuring innocent individuals and politicians.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.