THE NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
Volume 6, No. 1, 2008
The Political Instrumentalization of Violence in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic: The Case of Ibadan
Ayokunle Olumuyiwa Omobowale
Department of Sociology Faculty of the Social Sciences University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
From May 29 1999, Nigeria joined the comity of ‘democratic’ nations once again, with the commencement of the Fourth Republic. Whereas, democracy is expected to be a platform for order, fairplay, justice, equality, the protection of human rights, etc., Nigeria’s democracy has, however, not been devoid of violence, which invariably seemingly negates its very essence. Focusing on happenings during the 2007 general elections, the paper investigates the political instrumentalization of violence in Ibadan, Nigeria. Both secondary and primary data were collected for the study through the review of relevant literature and oral interview with selected political actors identified through purposive sampling method. The signal that political events in Ibadan show is that of a pseudo-democratic system ‘sustained’ by violence rather that one primarily aimed at improving the welfare of the people. It is a system the political class craves for in order to gain access to state resources to finance patronage, patrimonialism and for personal gains. This is why violence has to be used to silence the opposition and actualize primitive and exploitative acquisition. Thus, what the 2007 General Elections have brought forth for Ibadan in particular, and Oyo state in general, is a system sustained by hoodlums for the sake of the political class and not the electorate.
Keywords: democracy, politics, violence, agbero, OPC, Ibadan