CLEEN Foundation in partnership with the European Union and the Nigeria Police Force has trained Nigeria Police Officers on Election Security Management.
The series of training that were held in Abuja and the six geopolitical zones across the country was designed to improve the capacity of Police Officers to provide adequate security for the February 16th and March 2nd2019 General Elections respectively. More importantly, the capacity building program was aimed at enhancing the conduct of Police personnel whilst on election duty, better service delivery for credible and violent free elections.
As part of the efforts to ensure the training gets a wide coverage across the country, step down trainings were conducted across the six geo-political zones, North East-Gombe, Northwest-Kano, North Central-Makurdi, South East-Abia, South South-Port Hart Court and South West-Lagos.
Benson Olugbuo, PhD, the Executive Director of the CLEEN Foundation, at the series of trainings reminded the Police that they lead in election security, and, thus, there was the fundamental need to enhance officers’ skills and capacity to monitor the 2019 general elections through the provision of effective security arrangement for the elections.
According to Dr Olugbuo “We are not only set to support the police and achieve peace and security during elections but also for the consolidation and deepening of our democracy.’’.
Furthermore Dr. Olugbuo recognized the enormous tasks saddled on the police in the forthcoming general elections, and the many challenges the police is faced with which make it difficult to effectively deliver on their core mandate.
The Executive Director reminded the police that the forthcoming General Elections present an opportunity for Nigerians and the international community to assess the performance of the Nigeria Police in securing the elections.
As Nigeria prepares for the General Elections, the police must be professional not only in their conduct during the elections but also in handling security issues that may likely affect the elections or cause electoral violence. Based on the findings from the Nationwide Security Threat Assessment conducted cross the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory between October and December 2018 by CLEEN Foundation which was presented during the trainings, the findings identified amongst the fourteen key risk factors vote buying, conduct of security agents, hate speech, drug abuse, exclusion and media partisanship as likely triggers of violence during the elections and police was called upon to take steps to put in place early warning systems to address the risks ahead of the elections.
The conduct of the Nationwide Security Threat Assessment Survey is also to help the election stakeholders- Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Security Agencies and Civil Society Organizations to better prepare for the elections.
To follow up with police on the trainings, CLEEN would be deploying election observers across the country to monitor the conduct of security personnel on election duty, particularly the police during the general elections.