Under Component Five Support to Civil Society Organizations of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) Project, European Union (EU) supports CLEEN Foundation to implement Mitigating Electoral Violence in Nigeria Towards 2019 General Elections project. This is in collaboration with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Nigeria Police Force, Centre for Citizens with Disability, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, BBC Media Action, and the Albino Foundation. The project covers the six geo-political zones-South-East, South-South, South-West, North-East, North-West, North-Central.
As part of the project implementation, CLEEN participated at the 3rd Election Security Cluster Meeting of the project partners that was held at the European Centre for Election Support (ECES) Abuja office on 30th May, 2018.
The meeting targets to consolidate project partners work in achieving peaceful and violent free elections in Nigeria. It provides a platform for the project partners to discuss the election security project activities of the EU-SDGN implementation plan. The main target is to ensure partners do not work in isolation and to strengthen synergy among them.
At the meetings, findings from the election threat security scenario mapping were reviewed and analyzed. For instance, in the voting poll conducted by the EU, 35% of the respondents are concerned that insecurity poses a threat to the 2019 general elections. For instance, the high rate of killings such as the Fulani-Herdsmen, Boko Haram insurgency, rival cult groups, kidnapping and assassination are some of the threats identified that are likely to affect the 2019 general elections. Another scenario is hate speech by political parties and political expose persons.
Having identified the likely trend that will affect the 2019 general elections, it becomes fundamental for election key players such as security agencies, INEC, CSOs, Media and relevant stakeholders to work together in order to have a coordinated response to mitigating electoral violence, which is why this project is been funded by EU.
In the preparation for a violence free 2018 Ekiti state gubernatorial election, CLEEN Foundation in collaboration with the INEC Electoral Institute has developed ’Election Violence Mitigation and Advocacy Tool’. The tool will be used for national security threats assessment across the 36 states. It will also serve as a specific knowledge around election violence. And the purpose is to reduce election violence.
To further strengthen partners capacity to mitigate electoral violence, EU-SDGN Election Security Cluster Members proposed Conflict Sensitivity Advocacy and Reporting training for CSOs. That will improve professional conduct in response to the security threats in Nigeria. CLEEN will work with with the European Union Centre on Electoral Support (ECES), National Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Albino Foundation and INEC Technical Team to host the proposed training.
Chigozirim Okoro and Anderlyn Ezeh, CLEEN Foundation