To mitigate electoral violence in the 2019 General Elections, improve public safety and security through enhancing accountability in election security management in Nigeria, CLEEN Foundation mapped the electoral environment in the build up to the elections through its Election Security Threat Assessment (ESTA) conducted across the 36 states and FCT.
The Election Security Threat Assessment (ESTA) is a survey that maps perceived security threats that are likely to affect the 2019 General Elections, and proffer mitigating measures to prevent the identified electoral threats. The mitigating measures are targeted at various electoral stakeholders who have the constitutional mandate to take actions against the identified electoral risk factors especially the security agencies, electoral management body (INEC), CSOs, and Media. The methodology for producing the ESTA involves administering questionnaire, interview, focus group discussion and desk research.
Findings from the ESTA across Nigeria indicated twenty-one (21) states across the federation were on red alert for possible violence during the elections. These states included – Abia, Adamawa Akwa-Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Delta, Ekiti, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Ogun, Plateau, Rivers, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara. It is sad to note that some of the volatile states identified by CLEEN Foundation experienced violence. The Election Security Threat Assessment of CLEEN Foundation was coordinated and disseminated thrice in Nigeria between August 2018 and January 2019.
Subsequently, CLEEN Foundation monitored the conduct of security personnel on election duty in partnership with the Police Service Commission who has the constitutional mandate to discipline erring police officers. As part of the preparatory activities, CLEEN Foundation recruited, trained and deployed 1,600 election observers to specifically observe the conduct of security personnel on election duty. CLEEN domestic observers together with the Election Security Centre monitored the conduct of security personnel during the Presidential and National Assembly Elections and the Governorship, State Houses of Assembly and FCT Area Council Elections conducted on Saturday February 23 and March 9, 2019.
CLEEN’s Election Security Support Centre (ESSC) was set up to receive reports from domestic election observers deployed across the 774 local governments in the country. Incidents monitored from the field, were reported to the appropriate authority mainly the Nigeria Police Force and INEC for quick interventions. The observers were given a checklist developed by CLEEN which was used to rate the conduct of security personnel on election duty.
The ESSC provided update on security issues, as well as the conduct of security personnel deployed on election duty. CLEEN as part of her ESSC released six statements covering, Pre-Election, Election Day and Post Election on the conduct of security personnel.
CLEEN ESSC comprised of security, criminal justice, policing, democracy, governance, public safety and election security management experts who analyzed security issues during the elections.
CLEEN Foundation acknowledges the support of the European Union under the EU_SDGN for making this possible.
Chigozirim Okoro & Odo Nnamdi