Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The CLEEN Foundation deepens the fight against Oil Theft and Pipeline Vandalization in Niger Delta Communities



 CLEEN Foundation in line with the activities of Access NG project is organising VPs workshops in Oguta and Ohaji in Imo State, Owaza and Umuorie in Abia State to deepen and strengthen the fight against oil theft and pipeline vandalization that the organization started since 2013.

The workshops are slated to hold on 19th at Oguta, 20th at Owaza, 22nd at Umuorie and 26th at Ohaji, all in January, 2016. The workshops would have representatives of Oil Companies operating in the above mentioned Communities, Community Leaders, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Niger Delta Anti-Corruption Network (NIDAN), South East Governance Network (SEGON), Members of Human Rights Working Group, Security Agents, Traditional Rulers etc in attendance.

These workshops would afford participants the opportunity to further understand Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs) Initiative and how it can be used as a dialogue tool to engage other stakeholders in the extractive sector.

Representatives of NIDAN and CLEEN Foundation would be facilitating sessions on: Host Community, Stakeholder or Private Security and Creating a Healthy Environment for Development respectively.

This phase of VPs workshops would encourage and further promote peace in the extractive sector that would encourage and ensure collective efforts in the fight against oil theft and pipeline vandalization.  The communities would also be advised to see community policing as a step in the right direction towards promoting safety and security in their communities.

The CLEEN Foundation enjoins all Nigerians and foreigners residing in Nigeria to join the fight against oil theft and pipeline vandalization in order to save the economy of the country from further dwindling.


Signed


Benson Olugbuo
Ag. Executive Director,
CLEEN Foundation

Friday, 15 January 2016

CLEEN Foundation calls for constructive Civil Military Relations in Nigeria


We join all Nigerians to facilitate with the Nigerian military on the occasion of the armed forces remembrance day.

The Nigerian Armed Forces has engaged in successful military operations in various peace keeping missions to restore peace in troubled countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan just to mention but a few. At the home front, the fight against insurgency has also recorded major successes despite sustained attacks by insurgents since 2009. To further show their unalloyed patriotism, the Nigerian Legion recently announced their commitment to join the Nigerian Military in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria. 

These success stories and efforts by the Nigerian Military collectively are often under-reported in the media and sometimes also met with distrust by the public. These issues portend the need to open up the dialogue space for fostering civil military relations in Nigeria. This is with a view to improving security and development and more importantly, positioning the military as a responsive and accountable government institution.

Despite these successes, there is existing tension between the military and the civilian which is as a result of the long military rule experienced in the past and increased military deployment across civilian space linked to the war against insurgency. This has resulted in a strained relationship between both parties and negates the fundamental rights of the people contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian constitution.

We use this historic occasion to encourage the Military to continue to put in their best and to remain resolute in the fight against terrorists; together we will win the war! We call on the military to investigate and address issues of human right abuses as it concerns Nigerians.

The ‘Fostering Civil Military Relations project’ is timely and aims to build support and promote positive civil-military relations between Nigerians and the military. CLEEN Foundation hopes to achieve this project objective through series of stakeholders’ dialogue sessions to develop a roadmap that will foster Civil Military Relations in Nigeria. Through this project, we will support ongoing discussions and engagement between the military and the civil society to improve accountability, security and national cohesion.  

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #CMR-NG and follow @cleenfoundation


Signed


Benson Olugbuo
Ag. Executive Director,
CLEEN Foundation

Thursday, 3 December 2015

2015 BAYELSA STATE: Election Security Threat Assessment

Key Risk Factors:
  • Southern Ijaw LGA which has a high concentration of ex-militant leaders poses specific security considerations.
  • The riverine communities of Ekeremor and Brass LGAs also present a unique security challenges that would require keen monitoring throughout the election period.
  • Sagbama LGA, the home town of the incumbent Governor Dickson is another area to watch as both candidates would be keen to claim victory there.
  • Yenagoa LGA which houses the seat of power is an important area to watch security-wise.
Key Mitigating Factors:
  • The 20 political parties involved in the election had signed a Peace Accord which observers say is holding in spite of occasional fracas between supporters of the PDP and the APC.
  • Different initiatives have been held to sensitize candidates and supporters on the importance of peaceful elections.
  • Bayelsa is a small state with only a total of 663,748 registered voters. The efforts of the police led by IGP Solomon Arase along with the support of other security outfits in the state and the region would likely be enough to forestall breakdown of law and order during the election.
  • Should there be violence, it could be localised and rapidly quelled to avoid it spreading to other areas
Introduction
The governorship election in Bayelsa State is scheduled for Saturday 5th December, 2015. The atmosphere in the build up to this, has been tense and filled with fear of high level of insecurity. Understandably, the outcome of the 2015 general elections in which the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) which had been in power both at the federal level and in Bayelsa State for the past 16 years was voted out of the presidency, increased the stakes in the staggered governorship election in Bayelsa State as both the PDP and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are working hard to win the election in Bayelsa.

For the PDP, it is a battle to retain one more state in Nigeria to serve as a basis from which the party could attempt to relaunch itself to power in the next general elections. Bayelsa is also the home state of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, PDP’s presidential candidate who lost and conceded to President Muhamadu Buhari in the last general elections. Dr. Jonathan has been visible in his campaign for the PDP. Furthermore, although the governorship election held in Kogi State on November 21, 2015 was inconclusive with supplementary election scheduled for December 5, the APC was leading in the polls. The sudden death of the APC candidate,  late Abubakar Audu has exposed the elections to multiple legal tussles. Both parties would therefore seek to win convincingly to devoid any post-election challenge in Bayelsa State.

For the APC, this is the first time they would be contesting as an opposition political party in Bayelsa while being in power at the presidential level. The APC’s candidate is a former Governor of the State who is now seeking to unseat an incumbent of the PDP thus repeating the feat the APC accomplished at the presidential level last March. The APC is mobilising its resources across Nigeria – with the Vice President headlining one of their campaign rallies. Analysts believe that APC is seeking to win Bayelsa to consolidate it gains into the South South where it presently controls only Edo State.

Hot-spots for Violence
  • Southern Ijaw LGA which has a high concentration of ex-militant leaders poses specific security considerations.
  • The riverine communities of Ekeremor and Brass LGAs also present a unique security challenges that would require keen monitoring throughout the election period. Sylva who hails from Brass LGA is thought to be a favourite in that area, but he is keenly match by the strength of Dickson, the incumbent.
  • Sagbama LGA, the home town of the incumbent Governor Dickson is another area to watch as both candidates would be keen to claim victory there. 
  • Yenagoa LGA which houses the seat of power is an important area to watch security-wise. With its population and ease of access, all candidates would seek to win in the town where they intend to govern from.
Conclusion and Recommendations
As Bayelsans participate in the second staggered elections to be organised under the Muhammadu Buhari led administration and under the current leadership of INEC, there are important lessons for Bayelsans and Nigerians to take away from the process.
  • The government agencies, especially the judiciary should be sensitive to the impact of their work on elections. Judgements on on-going criminal prosecution coming on the eve of the elections as well as the adjournment of hearing on eligibility suit of a candidate well ahead of the election date risk being interpreted as politically motivated and calculated to determine the outcome of the election.
To download the full report, visit www.cleen.org

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

CLEEN Foundation holds Security and Governance Fora in the South East, Nigeria



Nigeria has in recent years been battling different security and governance challenges which manifest in the form of impunity, mismanagement of resources, human rights violations, corruption, bad governance and insecurity.  CLEEN Foundation in a recent study on governance and security in the south east found among other things decline and marginalization of South East region of Nigeria, crime and insecurity, victimhood and poor governance etc. Key findings from the study reveal strong and casual link between poor governance and insecurity. It also shows that politics drives insecurity while lack of implementation of policies and reforms engender insecurity in form of backlash and leads to declining social capital

In an effort to strengthen the governance structures at the communal and local levels to provide support for promoting public safety and security, the CLEEN Foundation is partnering with the Ford Foundation to implement a project aimed at promoting governance and security in the South East geopolitical Zone. This builds on the lessons learnt from research and the implementation of other governance and security projects in Nigeria.

The CLEEN Foundation under the auspices of its South East Governance and Security Project organized the second “Governance and Security Forum” at Abakaliki LGA Secretariat Hall, Ebonyi State on Tuesday 3rd November 2015.

The Transitional Committee Chairman of Abakaliki LGA, Hon. Peter Nwaogbaga in his speech, thanked CLEEN Foundation and partners for convening the forum. The Forum brought together a cross section of over 70 participants drawn from Abakaliki LGA including experts and stakeholders from civil society organizations, security agencies, traditional institutions and other stakeholders within the region.

The Forum provided an opportunity for both structured and informal reflection on governance and security issues in the South East in general and particularly in Ebonyi State. Participants discussed and proffered solutions to identified challenges.

CLEEN Foundation is also engaged in building the capacity of community leaders and security agencies on conflict prevention, community policing, and educating them on negative effects of corruption to governance and security.

The discussions in Abakaliki were led by Mr. Frank Odita a retired Commissioner of Police and the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the CLEEN Foundation. Mr.  Ifeanyi Anyanwu, Program Officer and head of the CLEEN Foundation’s Owerri office facilitated the forum.

Presentations at the forum were aimed at educating participants on community policing and to facilitate discussions on safety, security and governance which contribute also to the adoption of the monthly NPF/VPS Coordination Meeting and Community Accountability Forum (CAF) that CLEEN Foundation and Justice for All (J4A) are implementing in seven states in Nigeria.

From Abakaliki, the Governance and Security Forum” moves to Ebonyi LGA on 5th November and thereafter to Enugu South LGA on 11th November, 2015.

For more information on the project, please contact cleen@cleen.org or visit www.cleen.org. You can also follow us on twitter @cleenfoundation or like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CLEENFoundation/

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Applications to the Investigative Reporting Training Program



Application Deadline: Friday, October 16, 2015


The Access Nigeria Investigative Reporting (Research Reporting) Training Program aims to improve media’s capacity to produce investigative journalism reports - with a particular focus on corruption in the security sector - in order to enhance media's effectiveness as anti-corruption watchdogs. Through the Access Nigeria project, journalists in the investigative reporting program will have access to:

·         Investigative reporting skills-building workshops;
·         Eligibility to apply for financial support from an Investigative Reporting Innovation Fund; and a
·         Mentoring program that connects journalists with experienced investigative reporters. 

The program will provide targeted support for journalists to investigate and report in restrictive operating environments, access and analyze hard to find documents, and improve interview techniques to get the cooperation of official and other sources. Through the Investigative Reporting Innovation Fund, the program will offer pre-publication legal guidance to journalists around legal implications when carrying out investigations. Training provided will include discussions regarding the code of conduct and international standards of journalism ethics specifically regarding the issues of covering corruption around security sector. 

The program welcomes applications from qualified candidates in print, TV, radio, or electronic media. Participants profile: mid-career journalists who are willing to immerse themselves in an intense, interactive learning environment, can commit to attending the training workshop, and have demonstrated previous experience covering issues of corruption, public finance, justice sector or the security sector.

About IWPR:  IWPR in an international nonprofit organization that gives voice to people at the frontlines of conflict, crisis and change. IWPR helps people in the world's most challenging environments have the information they need to drive positive changes in their lives — holding government to account, demanding constructive solutions, strengthening civil society and securing human rights. IWPR builds the skills and capacity of local journalism, strengthens local media institutions and engages with civil society and governments to ensure that information achieves impact.

In Nigeria, IWPR is working in partnership with Partners for Democratic Change (PDC), the CLEEN Foundation, BudgIT and Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) to implement the Access Nigeria project. More specifically, IWPR is collaborating with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) on the investigative journalism training component of the project.

Investigative Journalism Skills Building Workshops
Workshops will focus on challenges faced on a daily basis in terms of researching, accessing and analyzing information in order to produce investigative reports designed to push boundaries and encourage public awareness around key anti-corruption themes.  

The first workshop is expected to take place over 5 days in Abuja in late October 2015 (October 26 – October 30, 2015).


Workshops will include curricula on the following topics:

·         Principles and best practices of investigative reporting
·         Ethics of Investigative Reporting and media code of conduct
·         Principles and best practice of data visualization   
·         Legal threats awareness raising and strategies for mitigation 
·         Freedom of Information Law

Investigative Reporting Innovation Fund: Journalists who fully attend the training workshop and publish their training experience will be eligible to apply for support from the Access Nigeria's Investigative Reporting Innovation Fund.  The fund will enable journalists to undertake investigative projects. Recipients of support from the Fund will also be assigned a mentor to provide guidance and support throughout the research, writing, and publication phases of the development of investigative reports. More information on how to apply for support from the Investigative Reporting Innovation Fund will be presented at the conclusion of the training program.

Schedule:

Friday, October 16, 2015: Deadline for applications to the Investigative Reporting Training Program
October 20, 2015: Selected participants for Training Program notified
October 26 – October 30 2015: Investigative Reporting Training in Abuja
November 9, 2015: Opening of application period for Proposals to Investigative Reporting Innovation Fund
December, 2015: Final application deadline for Proposals to Investigative Reporting Innovation Fund
November- February: Small Grants executed (anticipated)
From November 2015: Reports published (anticipated)

Selection Process and Evaluation Criteria: Applications to the training program will be evaluated with the following criteria:  i) Quality of statement of purpose and demonstrated interest in research-based reporting; ii) Quality of writing sample; iii) Diverse representation of media outlets and gender balance of participants. All applications will be reviewed by experienced selection panel, comprised of representatives from the Institute for War & Peace Reporting
 
Application Submission Instructions: 

Please find the application form at the following link: http://goo.gl/forms/Mp8zdNP3FZ

As well as basic personal details, the application form requires: (i) a Statement of Interest that outlines the applicant’s interest in the Investigative Reporting Training Program, a brief discussion of the applicant's preparation and background, and a statement regarding applicant's ambitions for potential Investigative Reporting projects; ii) a writing sample in the form of a previously published article that demonstrates the applicant's interest and capacity in investigative reporting; (iii) details of two professional referees who are able to verify your prior work experience and suitability for the Investigative Reporting Training Program.

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