Nwobi Obiora Isaac
Democracy which is conceived as a system that gives periodic opportunities for the masses to choose their leaders has a lot to do with the rights of citizens in the society. It guarantees individual’s right of existence and promotes total participation of people in governance, while ensuring equality to all people. The debates about the role of human rights in the promotion of democracy and democratic practices, is in consonance with the degree to which there should be massive participation in the election/electoral practices in Nigeria. Therefore the extent to which human rights play positive or negative roles in Nigerian democratization process depends on the existing institutions in discouraging electoral irregularities such as violence, thuggery and in encouraging or facilitating mass participation which aims at ensuring transparency, free, fair and credible elections. This paper adopts relative depravation as a theoretical framework to argue that Nigeria’s democratic practices have no respect to human rights but a promotion of electoral violence, thuggery, snatching of ballot boxes and killing of people. The materials for his paper were sourced from secondary data. The paper concluded that weak institutions entrenched in Nigeria’s democracy promotes electoral violence, the spate of which led to human rights abuse in Ebonyi State. Hence the paper recommended that the institutions that allow for the practice of democracy should be judicially reviewed to discourage politicians from perpetuating electoral violence.
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