In view of the Saturday general election, a non-governmental organization, CLEEN Foundation, launched an Election Security Support Centre, ESSC, to monitor the conduct of security agencies throughout the entire process.
This is coming barely 24 hours, to Nigeria’s seventh general elections in the democratic era
The short-term Election Security Support Centre has also deployed observers in 109 Senatorial Zones across the country.
The observers are representatives of civil society organizations, independent experts, women, and youth as well as professionals from various fields.
The Centre aim to provide accurate and impartial assessment of the electoral process, including the degree to which the conduct of security agencies meets standards for democratic elections; offer recommendations for improvement of future elections security based on the findings; and demonstrate CLEEN’s solidarity and support towards consolidation of democracy, peace, stability and development in Nigeria.
Just a few weeks ago; CLEEN Foundation launched its traditional Election Security Threats Assessment which we believe will embrace the mitigations we have deployed with tactical commanders at different levels in the build-up to the elections.
The foundation said, “We want to urge citizens to go about exercising their franchise peacefully without molestation. We are certain, the public’s confidence in the credibility of the polls is growing, which is likely to bolster voter turnout.
Following amendments to electoral laws, the electoral commission introduced several changes to the voting system, the most significant of which is that polling stations will transmit ballots electronically to the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, in real-time,” the Executive Director, Gad Peter, noted.
Despite lingering doubts about connectivity in remote parts of the country, many Nigerians believe these innovations will be helpful in preventing anyone from altering results manually at polling stations or state collation centers, as poll workers colluding with party agents and thugs had done in the past.
While commending the Nigerian Police Force, NPF for adequate preparation, the foundation urges all security agencies to improve their intelligence-gathering capabilities.
“The Force must rise to the occasion and stop the various attacks on its personnel and infrastructure in some parts of the county.
The continued raids on police stations and apparent anonymity of the gunmen are a test of the efficacy of Nigeria’s security intelligence and ability to tackle criminality before, during, and after the elections,” the foundation said
The Foundation recommends that key actors in the electoral processes, particularly INEC, political parties, security agents, mass media, and CSOs, should pay increased attention to the identified risk factors to tackle them headlong through the various duty bearers.
The foundation noted that early warning signs identified in the Election Security Threat Assessment report should be seen as a priority by appropriate authorities to take early action.
Elections are not worth the blood of any citizen’ there is a need to strengthen and promote peaceful coexistence amongst the diverse ethnoreligious and political groups in Nigeria. This would help minimize the outbreak and persistence of violent conflicts that stoke election processes,” Peter said.