• Campaigns and Electioneering: Reflecting on the 2015 General Elections in Nigeria

    Author: Emmanuel Osewe Akubor
    E-mail: oseweakubor@gmail.com
    Institution: Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife (Nigeria)
    Year of publication: 2020
    Source: Show
    Pages: 72-86
    DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/ppsy2020405
    PDF: ppsy/49-4/ppsy2020405.pdf

    Historically, campaigns are recognized as a vital part of electioneering since it contains the ideas that the candidate wants to share with the voters, especially regarding policy issues and the administration’s focus. It aims to get those who agree with their ideas to support them when running for a political position. The message often consists of several talking points about policy issues. However, a study of Nigeria’s situation, with specific reference to the 2015 Campaigns and Electioneering, revealed that the main content of campaigns was hate speeches. Therefore, this paper seeks to bring out the main issues of campaigns in Nigeria’s electoral system and why it has often led to electoral violence over the years. The qualitative method is used for this particular research. Data obtained from primary and secondary sources were deployed to carry out the study with an analytical and narrative historical approach. It includes historical, descriptive, and analytical approaches based on gathered evidence. This research’s primary source is based on field investigations conducted in the Nigerian area and surrounding territories. Among other things, the data collection process includes semi-structured interviews with selected individuals. The research also uses historical documents from the national archives, relying on previous research conducted on society, administrative development, and documentary data taken from newspaper accounts, diaries, letters, and verbal reports. This research’s position is that campaigns over the years in Nigeria, unlike what is obtainable in some parts of the world where policy issues form the backbone of campaign message have basically on persons, character assassination, violence, and abusive (hate) speeches. The paper argues that this campaign strategy often leads to electoral violence before, during, and after elections. The paper, therefore, concludes that only issue-based campaigns can guarantee peaceful and credible elections in Nigeria.

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