Friday, 8 May 2015

Policy Brief on Roles and Opportunities for Engagement of Non State Actors in Election Security



In Nigeria, and generally in Africa, participatory democracy can be imperilled and crippled by election insecurity. To buttress this, CLEEN Foundation’s seventh Security Threat Assessment (STA) noted, there were a few concerns about the capacity and neutrality of state security agencies going into the 2015 elections. The desperate acts of some politicians in collaboration with mostly young persons have continued to endanger the electoral process in Nigeria; which ordinarily should bring them to power based on the decisions of the electorates. The 2015 Election Viability Polls conducted by the CLEEN Foundation had found that the polling units and the result collation centres were likely hotspots for violence and suggested that collaborations between security agencies would produce the best results for elections security management in Nigeria.

Building up to the 2015 general elections in Nigeria, there were insinuations of partisan control of state security institutions by some politicians, particularly, members of the ruling party. Real or imagined harassment of opposition officials and facilities could have triggered or inspired the opposition to seek avenues of countering the influence of state security institutions. There were also concerns about the levels of preparedness and resources available to the state security institutions to deal with the myriad of challenges around the concluded 2015 elections across the country, particularly, in view of its stretched resources in providing for the logistics on mobilising state security actors to all the nooks and crannies of the country, and adequately providing for the welfare of officers and men that would be deployed for election duties.  Consequently, it is opined that electoral security is most effective when adapted to the local security context as the local security context in most parts of the country, often involves multiple layers of stake holders; thus, an improved implementation of electoral security strategy for the country would require the establishment and continued support of joint coordination bodies such as task forces or joint election operation centres.

Such security forums will maintain and enhance coordination between agencies throughout the electoral cycle, taken into account a wider range of actors including political parties, other ministries and     civil society   groups.  The existence and prevalence in our urban and rural spaces of non-state actors such as vigilantes, civil society organizations, and community based organizations – including traditional and religious institutions in supporting, and maintaining safety and security across the country underscores the need for a larger and enhanced collaboration between the state and non-state peace and security actors in providing election security. This policy brief explored recent trends of non-state actors observed in the 2015 General Elections in Nigeria and draw attention to factors which could affect election security management in Nigeria.

KEY FINDINGS:
                     i.            In many democracies across the world, the management of elections is increasingly becoming less of a technical affair to be left exclusively to the election management bodies (EMBs) and other statutory bodies and their officials. Instead, it is becoming more of a terrain of broad civic engagement, involving volunteer poll workers, election observers, CSOs, citizen groups, the media and opinion moulders. This wide-ranging citizen involvement in elections, both as individuals and as organizations, expands the role of stakeholders in the electoral process.

1 comments:

Ann Ann said...

Sometimes interesting to know what the one or the other country by any of all possible ways. Maybe this way - ask.naij.com not the most ridiculous, is not it possible to find a certain kind of story. Kind of the way, but better something than nothing))

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