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Violence Free Elections: Perspectives on the Peace Initiatives on the 2015
General Elections in Nigeria
Warisu O. Alli
Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution
Plot 496 Abogo Largema Street, CBD, Abuja
Email: alliwo@yahoo.co.uk; Mobile: 08035991377
ABSTRACT
Elections are essential in a democracy and are fundamental features of representative democracy.. When free, fair and transparent, they confer credibility and legitimacy on the outcome. However, Nigeria's electoral history has always been marred by various levels of violence with grave implications for the polity.
Since return of democratic rule in 1999, Nigeria, has conducted elections in 2003, 2007, 2011 but with an ever increasing rise in electoral violence. The April 2011 elections, which benefitted from the electoral reform efforts of President Yar ‗Adua, and was considered the most credible since the return to democracy also turned out to be the most violent as the country witnessed an orgy of bloodshed after the elections.
The 2015 elections were to be held against the background of a prediction about the disintegration of Nigeria against the background of several socio-economic, political and security challenges, including insurgency in the nation‘s North East. The emergence of the
All Progressives Congress (APC) as a formidable opposition to the ruling People Democratic
Party (PDP) fifteen year rule also added more tension to the charged atmosphere of the elections. The Peace Initiatives which started immediately after the 2011 elections attracted the attention of stakeholders including development partners, non-governmental organisations and eventually the government with the establishment of a National Peace Committee and the signing of the Abuja Peace Accord.
This paper will attempt to evaluate the various peace efforts and campaigns for violence free elections by stakeholders and the impact of...

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