"Bunker" Democracy and the Challenges of Sustaining Democratic Values in Nigeria - An Appraisal of the 2011 General Elections

This paper has two main focal points. First, it critically reviews Nigeria’s 2011 general elections vis-à-vis manifestations of violence, covering pre-election, election-day and post-election conflicts across all regions of the country. The second thrust has to do with the exploration of the nexus between violence and democracy, thereby bringing to the fore the concomitant impact of violence on democracy. In order to achieve this aim, the paper is organized into a number of sections. The paper starts with brief introductory remarks, then begins with a conceptual framework divided into two parts. The allegory of ‘bunker democracy’ is explicated, after which the author proceed to conceptualize electoral violence without necessarily being definitional. The third part of the paper is a survey of electoral violence in all zones and regions of the country, to empirically establish the tempo and intensity of electoral violence as visited on the polity. Section four explores the nexus between democracy and violence.