Tuesday, 5 July 2011

WELCOME REMARKS BY INNOCENT CHUKWUMA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CLEEN FOUNDATION AT THE POLICING EXECUTIVE FORUM

HOLDING AT IMMACULATE HOTEL, ABUJA, JUNE 27-28, 2011.

Protocol ….

Introduction
On behalf of the CLEEN Foundation I warmly welcome you all to fourth edition of the Policing Executive Forum, being organized by the CLEEN Foundation in collaboration with the J4A Programme of DFID.

This edition of the Forum is focusing on review of police performance in the April general elections, with a view to identifying areas where the police did very well, areas where performance wasn’t too good, challenges police encountered in discharging their functions and more importantly learn from them.

Background
As you very well know organizing credible and generally acceptable elections has been a great challenge to major role players in the Nigerian electoral process. Public dissatisfaction has focused on the role of the electoral administration, political parties and security agencies, especially the police.

However, analysis of public perception of performance of these role players in the April elections, indicate a satisfaction level that is higher than previous elections on a national average. For instance, in the post election survey carried out by Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE Nigeria, which was released on Thursday, June 23, 2011, more than four out of every five respondents interviewed in the nationally representative survey were satisfied with the performance of security agencies, made up of 55% who were very satisfied and 32% who were satisfied. When asked to name the security agency they were most satisfied with, the police came first with 43%, followed closely by the military, which scored 42%.

However, in the same survey, 44% of the respondents indicated that they were afraid of becoming a victim of violence and intimidation during the elections and 12% witnessed incidents of violence and intimidation. Among the people who witnessed violence and intimidation, 38% said they were major incidences. This was more the case in the Northwest 56%, Northeast 39% and South-south 35%. Majority of the incidents took place after the elections 44%.

What this data and more that would be shared with us in the course of today’s deliberations show is that as much as we would want to congratulate ourselves for a job remarkably well done in spite of all odds, we still have a major challenge to deal with. A situation where nearly one out of every two voters in our country goes into elections fearful of violence and intimidation is a commentary on the quality of our elections and in deed democracy. It is also a major law enforcement challenge that has to be dealt with.

Why Policing Executive Forum

The idea behind convening the biannual Policing Executive Forum (PEF) is born out of the desire to provide a platform which would periodically bring together very senior police leaders, heads of police oversight agencies such as the Ministry of Police Affairs and the Police Service Commission, select academics/civil society leaders with interest on police transformation and donors’ agencies supporting police reform initiatives, to discuss priority issues of concern in policing within a given period and agree on a set of intervention programmes to address them. 

The objective is to contribute in ensuring that something is done whenever a priority problem or challenge is identified in policing as well as build stakeholders’ confidence in one another and prevent a situation where leaders of policing agencies and other stakeholders work at cross-purposes.

Compliments
We thank the Justice for All (J4A) programme for partnering with us in convening this edition of the Forum and hope that together we can make this platform a sustainable one for dealing with priority policing challenges in Nigeria with a wider stakeholder participation.

We thank MacArthur Foundation for their continuing support for the organization of this Forum.

Innocent Chukwuma
Executive Director

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