CLEEN Foundation in partnership with the European Union and the Nigerian Police Force has trained Nigerian Police Officers on election security management.
The pieces of training that were held in Abuja and six geopolitical zones across the country was to improve the capacity of Police Officers to be able to provide adequate security during the February and March 2019 general elections. And, to enhance the conduct of the Police personnel and ensure service delivery for credible and violent free elections.
The Nigeria police, CLEEN Foundation, and the Police Service Commission will work together to carry out a step-down training for other Police Officers across the country that did not participate in the pieces of training.
As part of the efforts to ensure the training gets a wide coverage across the country, step down pieces of training was done at Nigeria six geo-political zones, North East-Gombe, Northwest-Kano, North Central-Makurdi, South East-Abia, South South-Port Hart Court, South West-Lagos.
Mr. Benso Olugbuo, Ph.D., CLEEN Foundation Executive Director at the pieces of training 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.
“We are set to support the police and we are not only set out to achieve peace and security during elections but also for the consolidation and deepening of our democracy, Olugbuo said.
“We are aware of the enormous tasks expected of police in this year’s general elections, and we are also mindful of the challenges facing the police which make it difficult to effectively deliver on their core mandate, he added.
The executive director reminded the police that the forthcoming general elections present an opportunity for Nigerians and the international community to measure and rate the standard of the Nigeria Police.
As Nigeria prepares for presidential and governorship elections, the police must be professional in handling security issues, fundamentally, there are threats that some parts of the country would likely experience some electoral violence. For instance, we conducted a Nationwide Survey between October and December 2018, the survey is to identify electoral risks that are likely to affect the 2019 general elections.
The survey is also to help the election stakeholders, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Security Agencies and Civil Society Organizations to deploy appropriate responses. The survey examined potential security threats to the elections across the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory. It found that vote buying is the foremost of the fourteen risk factors that could generate tension or electoral violence. Again, the conducts of security agents, hate speech, drug abuse, exclusion, media partisanship, are likely triggers of violence.
However, the Nigerian election management body, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has given CLEEN foundation accreditation to deploy 1,678 election observers for the February 16 presidential election.
In performing this task, our core mandate is to monitor the conduct of security personnel, particularly the police during the general elections.