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Violence has been part of Nigeria’s politics since before political independence. While there have been attempts to understand why political violence happens in the country, little emphasis has been placed on explanatory factors for political-violence victimisation. This study investigates the influence of socio-demographic characteristics, presence of security apparatus, partisanship, political participation, and social group membership on the experience of political violence in Nigeria and examines how the influence of these factors varies between Northern and Southern Nigeria – two regions with major social and cultural differences. The study analyses data from the seventh round of the Afrobarometer survey, which were collected in 2017 from 1,568 adults across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria. Multiple linear regression models were fitted. Our analysis finds that about one in four persons has experienced at least one form of political violence. Living in the South, being young, being poor, living in an area with no police presence, being partisan, participating in politics, and being active in social groups increase the likelihood of political-violence victimisation. While women were more likely than men to experience political violence in the North, the reverse is the case in the South. Regional variation is also observed in the influence of political participation and the degree of the effect of party affiliation and social group membership.

Tunde Alabi

Tunde A. Alabi is a researcher.