Electoral violence has to do with the use of coercive force directed at multiple actors and or objects in the confines of electoral competition in pre-election and post-election periods. The manifestations include; attacks on election officials, materials, and candidates, disruption of campaign events, and the prevention of electoral participation through intimidation, coercion, and voters’ displacement. Some political actors usually conceal their involvement in violence and outsource violence to militia gangs and groups. A review of electoral violence trends indicates that it is a global phenomenon largely affecting electoral democratic states in diverse places such as Asia, the Middle East, and parts of Africa including advanced democracies like that of the United States of America. Nigerians have raised concerns that the upcoming elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi are under threat of serious violent disruption given the charged political atmosphere in the affected states.
National Defence College (NDC) was statutorily established in 1992 as the apex strategy and policy military institution in Nigeria. The NDC is one of the ECOWAS Centre of Excellence at the strategic level with the distinct function of providing a higher level of strategic military training to senior officers of the Armed Forces and civilians from selected MDAs. The Centre for Strategic Research and Studies (CSRS), NDC was established in 1996 to reinforce the academic work at NDC as well as expand its functional scope, with expertise in training and research in areas of peace and conflict, humanitarian crises management, peacekeeping, election management, governance and public policy analysis among others. The CSRS has collaborated with several international, regional and local organisations in building capacity in many areas of national security and socio-economic development.
Based on its microcosm mandates, the CSRS, NDC is organising a symposium on the 31 0ctober 2023 Time 9:00 am at the National Defence College Abuja to enable election experts, workers and other stakeholders to effectively deepen the conversation to put in place robust mitigating measures and roll out early warning responses and mechanisms to forestall electoral violence in the coming elections through actionable recommendations arising from the Symposium.