Saturday, 7 February 2015

2015 GENERAL ELECTIONS SECURITY THREAT ASSESSMENT

A consolidated Analysis of periodic Security Threat Assessment Reports January 2013 to January 2015

The Security Threat Assessment (STA) is an incidence mapping and reporting tool developed by the CLEEN Foundation with support from the McArthur Foundation. The tool is designed to provide a panoramic view of the security situation across the country as activities build up towards the 2015 elections. Between January 2013 and January 2015, we have published nine STA reports which map the election environment over the past 25 months. This aggregate report combines the 9 periodic STA reports and present a weighed view of the environment for the 2015 elections.

The national aggregation of the STAs reveals that 11 out the 37 states and the FCT (representing 29.7%) are in red, 20 states plus the FCT (56.8%) are in amber and only 5 states (13.5%) are in green. The summary of the status of the 36 states and the FCT is presented below:

•    Red: Adamawa, Benue, Borno, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Nassarawa, Plateau, Rivers, Taraba and Yobe.
•    Amber: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Katsina, Kogi, Lagos, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Sokoto, and Zamfara.
•    Green: Cross Rivers, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara and Osun.

Overview of Security Threats

A.    Initial Security Threats now resolved or over taken by events
a.    The need for code of conduct against hateful speech (the Abuja Accord)
b.    Merger of opposition parties and possible violent disagreement over leadership and candidates
c.    Zoning of Candidates
d.    Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
e.    Intra-party contentions
f.    Inter-party defections
g.    Review of legal framework

B.    Current National Security threats: Trends and Outlook
a.    Insurgency
b.    Hate and inciting speech
c.    Communal violence and other localized conflict
d.    Militant groups, vigilantes and youth thuggery
e.    Proliferation of small arms and light weapons
f.    Performance of security institutions
g.    Fear of electoral manipulation
h.    Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
i.    Distribution of Permanent Voters Card (PVCs)
j.    Postponement of the elections.

Recommendations
i.    Efforts to contain the insurgency in the northeast, and stop its spread into other regions and states should be intensified; The government, NEMA and security agencies should set up rapid response strategy in the event of a crisis, both humanitarian and security, especially around flash point areas;

ii.    All political parties and candidates should be encouraged to focus on the issues around the election and avoid hate or inciting speech. There should be effective monitoring to ensure that parties and candidates abide by the Abuja Accord;

iii.    The existence and prevalence of informal police groups such as vigilantes across the country underscores the need for collaboration between the formal and informal policing groups in the country, provided there is a framework for such collaboration and partnership. There is a need for mapping, identifying and capacity building and the development of a code of conduct for these groups and issues such recruitment, training, accountability needs to be addressed in the Code of conduct;

iv.    The Inter Agency Coordinating Committee on Election Security (ICCES) must be seen to have synergized response and approach to the perceived threats to security during the election. They should pay special attention to the violence hotspots with a view to ensuring that adequate resources are directed towards contain them. It must also ensure that security officials deployed on election duty are provided with adequate logistics, welfare and are also held accountable for their performance;

v.    INEC should be more aggressive in its distribution of the PVCs and deadlines for collection should be extended as much as practicable; INEC and security agencies must work assiduously to ensure that IDPs are able to exercise their franchise as much as is practicable, and that the location of their camps are well secured throughout the process;

vi.    INEC should maintain transparency in its organisation and conduct of the elections. Where it encounters challenges capable of impacting the electoral process, this should be communicated promptly to stakeholders and immediate measures taken to address the challenge.



To download the full report, visit www.cleen.org or cleenfoundation.blogspot.com

The 2015 Election Viability Survey Report

As part of the preparation for the 2015 general elections and to better understand the mindset of Nigerians in relation to the elections, the CLEEN Foundation in collaboration with the NOI Polls and with funding support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) conducted the 2015 Election Viability Survey. The project surveyed 5000 Nigerians across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory as well as representing the 109 Senatorial Districts in Nigeria.

The fieldwork of the survey commenced in October 2014 and the survey provided a very useful opportunity for Nigerians to reflect on their intention to participate in the 2015 elections and to outline their perceptions on elections security as well as the level of preparedness for the election. The goal of the survey is to provide the government, security agencies, the election management body, the civil society and the general public.

One key factor distinguishing this report from other similar studies is our use of the Senatorial District as the baseline for analysis. Data was collected in all 109 Senatorial District before aggregation to State and Geopolitical Zones. This approach allows for more holistic and in-depth analyses and for reflection on both local and regional patterns.

Key findings based on Survey Objectives are as follows:
  • The overwhelming majority of Nigerians (89%) expressed willingness to vote in the 2015 elections. This finding is true across gender, geo-political zones, and age groups.
  • The largest proportion of Nigerians (76%) think intimidation and violence would NOT be an issue in the 2015 elections.
  • Those who feel intimidation and violence would be an issue, think it would occur at polling units (66%) and Collation centres (52%). Most of them (68%) also think there should be an increase of security agents on electoral duty.
  • The larger share of adult Nigerians (36%) think the military would be most effective in providing security in the 2015 elections. However a significant proportion (28%) think a combination of all security agencies would be most effective in providing security.

Key Recommendations and Conclusions from the survey are as follows:
  • CLEEN Foundation could support the Federal Government through the means of advocacy to strengthen National security. This could be achieved by empowering the Nigerian Police force and increasing military presence particularly in areas that have been identified as prone to violence to help forestall security threats.
  • Enhance security around the Polling Units and Collation Centres, as Nigerians are worried most about violence outbreak in these area.
  • The decision to increase security presence (including military) should also be made public as it might sway the 11% of adult Nigerians who are not certain or not willing to vote.
  • From past experience in Nigeria electoral violence is often caused by supporters who believe their candidates were illegitimately denied a win by INEC. Currently, 8% of adult Nigerians rated INEC poorly in the registration and dissemination of voters’ cards and as many as 11% of Nigerians mentioned they do not know how to rate INEC. CLEEN Foundation should work in tandem with INEC to identify means of changing the perception of Nigerians since a negative perception can influence voter behaviour.
  • Politicians should be used as channels to promote violence free elections and take responsibility of their actions and the actions of their supporters
 

To download the full report, visit www.cleen.org

January 2015 SECURITY THREAT ASSESSMENT: TOWARDS 2015 ELECTIONS



Less than two weeks to the conduct of general elections in Nigeria, the political atmosphere is charged with political activities including incidences of violence, provocative utterances and hate speeches. The utterances of some political leaders in both the conventional and the social media and the manifestation of violence in some parts of the country even before the elections have heightened tension in the country. There are also reports that some Nigerians have begun to relocate to other countries or to other parts of Nigeria as a result of this fear.

In spite of some calls to postpone the February general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is forging ahead with its preparations. The commission has released the breakdown of 119, 973 polling units where the elections will hold nationwide and have deployed 145,000 smart card readers to all the states and the FCT. The introduction of smart card readers explains why INEC cannot allow those with temporary voter cards to vote in February. INEC has commenced the distribution of non-sensitive voting materials and extended the distribution of PVCs to February 8 to ensure that every registered voter secure his or her PVC before the 14th of February.

Risks Factors
Across board, there are six major threats to security within the next few days to the elections;
I.    Dangerous and hate speeches by politicians, youths and at the lower levels of the states.
II.    Tardiness of INEC in the distribution of PVCs and the conduct of elections.
III.    Intimation and mudslinging.
IV.    Poor management of election – logistics, failure of card readers, real or passive vote rigging.
V.    Crisis of expectation or frustration occasioned by failure to win an election. 
VI.    Perceived partisanship of security agencies.

Violent Hotspots/Regional Analysis
•    RED: NC – Benue, Nasarawa, Niger and Plateau; NE – Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Taraba, Bauchi, Gombe, NW – Kaduna, Kano and Kastina SS – Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta; SW – Lagos, Ekiti and Oyo SE – Imo, Ebonyi
•    AMBER: NC Federal Capital Territory, Kogi, and Kwara; NW – Zamfara, Sokoto, SE – Enugu, Abia and Anambra; SS – Cross River; SW – Ogun and Ondo
•    GREEN: NW- Jigawa and Kebbi, SW – Osun; SE – SS- Edo and Akwa Ibom

Recommendations
To mitigate possible violence will require a nuanced understanding of the politics of the region and respond to some of the key concerns of the people.
I.    Efforts to contain the insurgency in the northeast, and stop its spread into other regions and states should be intensified;
II.    The government, NEMA and security agencies should set up rapid response strategy in the event of a crisis, both humanitarian and security, especially around flash point areas;
III.    All political parties and candidates should be encouraged to focus on issue based politics around the election and avoid hate or inciting speech. There should be effective monitoring to ensure that parties and candidates abide by the Abuja Accord;
IV.    INEC should respond to the complaints from the distribution of PVCs with all seriousness. INEC should ensure all registered voters received their PVC.



To download the full report, visit www.cleen.org or cleenfoundation.blogspot.com

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