Elections have been a cyclical driver of conflict risk and violence in Rivers state since 1999. The state was reported to have had the highest number of violent incidents during the 2015 general elections in Nigeria. In the lead-up and aftermath of the 2016 legislative election rerun on 19 March, Rivers was once again marred by widespread political and cult violence with fatalities in the lead-up surpassing any period since 2009. This ongoing cycle of insecurity is not only impacting the citizens of the state, but also business.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Rivers has the second largest GDP after Lagos, but it is also one of the most violent states per capita in the Niger Delta. With increasing insecurity in the state surrounding election cycles in 2015 and 2016, there are growing concerns that local businesses are being impacted, investors may invest elsewhere, and the state may even see international companies start to rethink their office presence in the hub of Port Harcourt.