REMARKS BY GAD PETER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CLEEN FOUNDATION AT THE OPENING SESSION OF THE ELECTION SECURITY MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP WITH THE SUPPORT FROM GSF IN COLLABORATION WITH UNDP HELD ON THE 14th – 18th and 21st – 25th NOVEMBER 2022
Please allow me to warmly welcome you to the continuation of a series of interventions around Election Security Management for Divisional Police Officers across the country. As we prepare for the elections, threats are imminent so must our proactive mitigation response plan. The next 5 days will help us provide an important method of analysis which is easily verified, communicated, and understood. Across industries and disciplines, simulation modelling provides valuable solutions by giving clear insights into complex systems. A case study presentation will be made on election risk and violence. This shall be an interactive exercise that tests the capability of an organization or other entity to respond to a simulated emergency, disaster or crisis situation. We are glad to have with us very experienced facilitators to undertake these sessions.
Nigeria is experiencing a complex security crisis. Current skirmishes across Nigeria warrant and even demand pre-election security mapping ahead of the elections. For instance, strengthening the capacity of police personnel and institutions in specific strategic areas bothering around public order and human rights has become fundamental. Citizens’ perception of the political class using security institutions as a weapon of manipulation, repression, and oppression before, during and after the elections has largely informed this session across the 6 geo-political zones in the country. Impartiality, people-centred policing and the reforms must be synchronized to demonstrate the legitimacy of the next administration as well as ownership of the process from the people.
The objectives for the next 5 days are in two folds:
- To enhance the capacity of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) for effective crowd control and management within the broader context of public order management during elections.
- To promote the capacity and awareness of the NPF in the protection and preservation of human rights and dignity of Nigerians during and after the elections.
The provision of adequate security remains a critical factor that determines the success or otherwise of any electoral process. These sessions would therefore enhance the capacity of the NPF in identification risks and threats and putting in place the appropriate response measures. Risk identification and assessment, gap in security measures, eternal and external threats, information protection as well as contingency planning. Acts of sabotage and election disruption The Sheikh Ahmed Lemu Presidential Committee on the 2011 Post Election Violence in Nigeria documented 943 dead persons, including 10 Youth Corps members; 838 injured; 626 arrested for participating in the killings and carnage. Similarly, in the months leading up to the 2019 general elections, the trend of violence was clearly visible as most notable pre-election reports flagged the high risk of violence. We urge you all to kindly make good use of your time here as whatever the police do before, during and after the election has a far-reaching impact on the legitimacy and integrity of the process. We thank GSF for the support and urge that this process must be sustained even beyond the elections.
I wish you all a happy deliberation.