GURR’S THEORY ON VIOLENCE AND THE QUEST FOR STATE POWER IN NIGERIA, 1999-2012

Author: Onukwili Onyinye Uche
Department: Political Science
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

This work interrogates the role of violence in Nigeria’s democratic experience. It employs Dahrendorf’s conflict theory as the explanatory frame of theoretical analysis. The work observes that despite Gurr’s thesis that violence is a product of frustration, aggression and relative-deprivation, social inequalities arising from economic, social and political power is also a major propelling factor of violence. This study is an explanatory research which adopts documentary method of data generation. In its analysis, the study made use of case analysis approach. The work discovers that the level of frustration, deprivation, unfavourable governmental policies and the struggle for state power on the basis of social inequalities exhibited by Nigerian political elites are always accompanied by violence. Therefore, the thesis recommends solid economic foundation that will guarantee more opportunities for citizens as this will bring the tendency for violence to its barest minimum. More importantly, it should be enshrined in the constitution; a law mandating incumbents to resign at least six months before any election that they will partake in.

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