Insecurity in Nigeria is a recurring phenomenon that threatens the well-being of its citizens, and as the 2023 general election approaches, one of the major challenges to contend with is the epidemic of insecurity and threats from Armed Opposition Groups to scuttle the elections.
As part of efforts to fulfilling its mandates, CLEEN Foundation hosted a High-Level Policy Dialogue as Nigeria prepares for 2023 to review the dynamics of challenges to contend with and the epidemic of insecurity. Violence has been recorded across the country’s six geopolitical zones, further dividing it along ethnic, religious and political lines. Incidents have been notably higher in the North-West and South-East where banditry, terrorist activities, herder-farmer conflicts and secessionist agitations are exerting huge human and economic impacts. But in the Northeast, the Islamic State in the West African Province and Boko Haram insurgency continue to fester, while North-Central Nigeria continues to witness conflicts over land and water. Kidnapping is growing and increasingly “profitable” for its perpetrators, whilst incidents like the prison breakout at Kuje, on the outskirts of Abuja, have raised further concerns about the possibility of insecurity worsening.
In line with the objective of the dialogue held at Nigeria Army Resource Center on September 27th 2022 which saw Donors and Partners from IRI, MacArthur Foundation, Palladium, NDI, USAID, American Embassy in attendance, etc, Mr Gad Peter, the Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation, stressed, in his opening remarks, that security is a whole of society approach and as such, a concern for everybody to make the electoral process work, even as security agencies put all hands on deck to ensure an election devoid of security hitches and a conducive environment for all Nigerians by stakeholders.
With panel discussions, presentations and thought sharing sessions on “2023 GENERAL ELECTIONS: Insecurity as a Threat to Constitutional Succession”, multiple approaches and possible solutions were proffered on how security agencies can cater to, handle security issues and threats to ensure maximum security for Nigerians before, during and after elections.
At the end of the discussion, recommendations, not limited to the under-listed, were highlighted:
- Citizens should be brought into the narrative at every point in time; they must trust the State security architecture ranging from the Army, Police, DSS, INEC and others
- Security personnel to be trained appropriately ahead of the election
- Protection of voters and ensuring there is a non-postponement but the conclusive election, is paramount.