The word “hoodlum” here simply refers to thuggery in particular. Thuggery can be an act of violence or behaviour by ruffians hired or instigated by politicians to intimidate their opponents. The answer to the above question here is both politicians and hoodlums. Many people to believe that the problems of poverty, unemployment among youths, the value system of wealth accumulation, god-fatherism, lack of political ideology and principles, absence of internal democracy in political parties and its attendant effects, account for thuggery in Nigeria. Poverty makes youths willing tool for thuggery in the hands of desperate politicians. Sadly, we fail to understand that political thuggery is a serious threat to democratic consolidation in Nigeria, because it scares credible candidates and followers.
Political thuggery hinders public accountability of elective officers, just as it increases crime rate. The sad part is that the politicians do not engage their children or relatives in the act, rather they go for children of the poor.
As the elections draw nearer, it is important for politicians and thugs to understand that violence is not the solution to our problems and it destroys democracy. Politicians should embark on issue-based campaigns so that voters can choose whoever they want.
Abdulmumin Kolo Gulani can be reached at: email@example.com