Monday, 20 November 2017

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT BY CLEEN FOUNDATION ON THE CONDUCT OF SECURITY AGENTS DURING THE NOVEMBER 18, 2017, GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION IN ANAMBRA STATE

PREAMBLE


Since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced that the governorship election in Anambra state will hold on November 18, 2017, people within and outside of the state entertained fears about security before and during the election in the state. As the election drew closer, the apprehension became palpable against the backdrop of threat of election boycott by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), large number of political contestants, huge deployment of state security forces, and the history of godfather politics, among other factors. The governorship election held as scheduled by INEC on November 18.

SUPPORT FOR THE NOVEMBER ELECTION

Consistent with our commitment to promoting public safety, security and justice in Nigeria, the CLEEN Foundation has sustained active engagement with several critical stakeholders to ensure that the November 18 governorship election was conducted in a secure and peaceful atmosphere. CLEEN Foundation observed the November 18 governorship election in Anambra state, with specific focus on the security dimensions of the election. The mission was in furtherance of other interventions earlier made by the organization to enhance election security in the state. These include, among others, the deployment of CLEEN Foundation and INEC Electoral Institute Election Violence Mitigation Tool (EVMT), and the conduct and release of two field reports -  Situation Analysis of Security and Public Safety in Anambra State, Nigeria: Towards the November 18, 2017 Governorship Election and Security Threat Assessment for the 2017 Governorship Election in Anambra State. These interventions were geared towards making positive impact on the election landscape in general and electoral security management in particular.

FIELD OBSERVATION OF THE NOVEMBER 18 ELECTION

CLEEN Foundation trained and deployed a total of 83 persons to observe the deployment and conduct of security agents during the November 18 governorship election. Out of this number, 73 observers were deployed across the 21 LGAs of the state. They had a standardised checklist containing important questions about the deployment and conduct of security agents during the election. In addition, there were six other roving observers, whose activities covered the three Senatorial Districts. The field observers provided real-time updates and reports on the election-day in the form of voice calls, pictures and short message service (SMS) to a WhatsApp group, #CLEENSituationRoom#, from their locations. A team of four other observers operated the Call Centre, co-located with the Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room. The information sharing among partner organisations in the Situation Room also enabled CLEEN Foundation to cross-check its field observations.

SECURITY DEPLOYMENT FOR THE ELECTION
Aware of the potential and real security threats to the election, the various security agencies deployed robust plans to ensure security, before, during and after the election. While the military and the Department of State Services (DSS) did not make public the number of their personnel deployed for the elections, the Police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) announced plans for huge deployment of their officers. The Police had announced that it will deploy 26,000 of its personnel for the governorship election. It will also deploy Police helicopters for surveillance and aerial patrol as well as three gunboats for patrol of the waterways throughout the period of the election. Also, the NSCDC claimed it deployed 14, 000 personnel to boost the number of personnel provided by other security agencies for the governorship election.

OBSERVATIONS ON SECURITY AGENTS AND ELECTION SECURITY
There were several observations regarding the poll in general and security interventions more specifically. However, below are some of the key observations that bordered on election security;

Military Operations: Observers reported that the military maintained outposts on major routes of entrance and exit from the state. There were also reports of proper conduct of the military stationed on the major roads and locations in the state during the election. There was a reported case of arrest of three persons suspected of carrying IPOB leaflets. The suspects were arrested by the military at DNGS Roundabout, off Oguta Road, Onitsha North LGA. Overall the conduct of the military during the election was commendable

Patrol by Security Agents: There were indications, and corroborated by observers, of sustained visibility policing through ground, aerial and waterways patrol by security agencies, especially the police. The Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) and the NSCDC also maintained visible level of ground patrol. We also noted that the Police had patrol teams that visited some polling units to ensure that voting was going on smoothly. These patrols provided the needed sense of safety and security during the election.

Deployment of Security Agents: Observers reported timely deployment of security agents to PUs, Wards, collation centres and INEC offices across most of the LGAs visited. In relation to the time security agents arrived at the polling units, the findings of the field observation showed that 18% of the security agents arrived the polling units before 7:00am, while 36% arrived between 7.00am - 7.59am. Those that arrived between 8.00am - 8.59am constituted 22% of the security agents deployed to the polling unit, while 24% of the security agents arrived their polling unit from 9:am and above. The late arrival of some of the security agents to the polling unit were partly as a result of logistics deficits and unfamiliarity with the language and terrain. In addition the field observation showed that 3 or more security agents were present at 80% of the polling units. This confirmed the large deployment of security agents for the election. The result of the field observation showed that more than half of the security agents arrived their polling units before the commencement of accreditation and voting. However, there was delayed deployment of over forty police personnel to their polling units in Nzam, Anambra West LGA, etc, due to inadequate vehicles.

Conduct of Security Agents: Observers reported sufficient demonstration of neutrality and impartiality by security agents across most polling units visited. The security agents conducted themselves in civil and  professional manner  in their dealings with the electorates. Regarding the conduct of security agents at the polling units, the findings of the field observation indicated that 38% rated the conduct as being 'very impartial' while 40% rated their conduct as 'impartial'. However, 6% rated their conduct 'somewhat impartial' and 16% rated it 'not impartial'.

Inter-Agency Collaboration: Our observers noted discernible improvement in the level of inter-agency collaboration among security agencies during the elections. The Police, Civil Defence, FRSC and others were seen working together harmoniously at the polling units, along the road and at the collation centres.

Security Incident Response: The timely identification and execution of proper response to acts or events that are capable of disrupting or undermining the peaceful conduct of polls is of crucial importance in elections security management. Observers noted that security agents were quick to respond and resolve cases of dragging of positions in voting queues, disagreements between party agents, and complaints by voters. There was prompt response to distress calls, as was the case in polling unit 005, Ward 3, Community Primary School, Amawbia in Awka South LGA, where a man was arrested by the DSS for trying to buy votes and was later released. A similar incident happened in polling unit 005, Ward 001, Ukpuwo, Nnewi South  LGA, where a woman with two voters cards was arrested by the Police for attempting to vote in another polling unit having voted with one of the cards in a nearby polling unit.

Protection of Election Integrity: Election security management is critical to the preservation of the integrity of the election. The actions or inactions of security agents do have consequences for the integrity of the election. Observers reported brazen cases of vote buying and voter inducement, involving the major political parties, in most of the polling units. These illegal acts took place often in the full glare of security agent who appeared unable or unwilling to deter such electoral offences. In most cases, security agents appeared uninterested in the act. In some cases, they made feeble attempt to drive the party agents behind the vote buying away from polling station. In few cases where they mustered courage to arrest the suspects, they usually let them go following interventions by community leaders or youth.

Welfare of Security Agents: Reports from our observers indicated that there was appreciable level of improvement in the welfare arrangement for the security agents. However there was equally isolated cases of complain by some security agents over the poor handling of their welfare, especially on their feeding, accommodation and the allowances.

INEC Logistics Setbacks: There were indications of logistics setbacks such as inadequate vehicles that contributed to delayed or late arrival of both electoral materials and personnel (permanent and adhoc staff - especially National Youth Service Corp Members). Observers equally reported cases of both temporary and complete failure of the Card Reader Machines (CRMs) in some polling units. It is noteworthy that in some cases, INEC technical team responded swiftly to rectify the problem. However at Community Primary School Ohita Ogbaru LGA, the CRM failed to work due to network failure, leading to protests by voters at the polling unit. Such incident could trigger electoral violence if poorly managed.
RECOMMENDATION
In view of the above, we recommend the following:
§         The security agencies should continue to evolve and fine-tune 'right-sized' deployment of its agents to improve elections security.
§         The Media and civil society organisations should deepen public enlightenment on the dangers of vote trading on the credibility of elections and prospect of good governance.
§         Security agents and presiding officers should show more commitment in curbing vote trading and voter inducement at the polling unit.
§         The level of inter-agency collaboration observed in the election should be sustained and improved upon in future elections.
§         The National Orientation Agency and civil society organisations should intensify the sensitisation of the citizens on the need to support security agents in the arrest and prosecution of electoral offenders.
§         The security agencies should make adequate logistics arrangements for the feeding and accommodation of the personnel on election duty, including ensuring prompt payment of their allowances.
§         The INEC should commit more technical resources to improving the functionality and reliability of the CRMs.

CONCLUSION

As widely anticipated, the governorship election in Anambra State held under tight-security with minimal security breaches. This was largely in line with the conclusion of CLEEN Foundation's Security Threat Assessment for the 2017. Overall, the conduct of security agents during the elections is commendable, especially in the discharge of their duties at the patrol bits, polling units, and collation centres. Overall, the findings of the field observation indicated that 56% rated the performance of security agents in the Anambra election 'very good' while 26% rated it 'good. However, 4% rated their performance 'fair' and another 4% rated it  'poor'. Notwithstanding, there were multiple reports of vote trading especially at the polling units, in the presence of security agents. There were also concerns about logistics and welfare of security agents which impacted on their ability to perform maximally in furtherance of the objective of election security.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

CALL FOR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST

The CLEEN Foundation (formerly known as Centre for Law Enforcement Education) is a non-governmental organization established in January 1998 with the mission of promoting public safety, security, and accessible justice through empirical research, legislative advocacy, demonstration programs and publications, in partnership with government and civil society.

Background Brief
CLEEN Foundation will be twenty (20) years by 2018 and in order to reposition and rebrand itself, a number of institutional reforms and strengthening are being undertaken. We believe that these actions will reposition the organisation to continue to provide the lead in the area of public safety, security and accessible justice in Nigeria. The action among others, will involve organization audit, trainings in strategic areas of programming, management, governance and gender based violence; restructuring of the three offices of CLEEN in Abuja, Lagos and Owerri; review of internal policies and processes as well as development of a new strategy and sustainability framework.

Consequently, Expression of Interest (EOI) is hereby invited from suitably qualified Consultants and Service Providers in the following areas:

Area of Assignment/Supply
Specific Brief
Lot 1
CLEEN Foundation Strategy Review, Revision and Development
ü      Conduct an organizational audit to identify strength, weaknesses, threats and opportunities.
ü      Identification of institutional strengthening priorities for investment in subsequent years over the medium-term, approximately 2018-2022
ü      Review of the current strategic plan (2014 -2018)

Lot 2
Organisational Policies Review, Update and Development
ü      Development of Financial, Programme, Human Resources Manuals etc.
ü      Deployment of modern information and communication technologies that will enable real-time communication across the three offices through ICT investments.  
Lot 3
Staff Capacity Building and Training: Programme/Project Management, Financial Management, Team Building and Behavioural Change
ü      Staff and Board retreats
ü      Trainings in program design, implementation, evaluation,  financial development and program oversight
Lot 4
National Budget Tracking and Accountability.
Accountability on the use of public resources for safety and security in Nigeria by reviewing and monitoring security allocation and implementation on the 2017 national budget and proposals for 2018 fiscal year

Lot 5
Sexual and Gender Based Violence Management
Trainings, meetings and developing new materials on addressing Sexual and Gender based violence in Nigeria at the demand and supply sides of law enforcement and citizens. These materials will also take cognizance of the new trends of conflict-related sexual violence suffered by women and girls.

Lot 6
Researchers and Experts
Technical and experienced Researchers and Experts in the following areas:
-          Public Safety and Security
-          Election Management
-          Transparency and Accountability
-          Accessible Justice and Rule of law.
-          Public Enlightenment and Campaign
Lot 7
Programme Monitoring and Evaluation
ü      Programme quality assurance and strengthening.
ü      M & E training of staff and partners.
Lot 8
Financial Audit and Investigation.
Completed financial Audit leading to a set of identified Operations and institutional strengthening priorities for subsequent years’ focus and investment.

Creating high level transaction evidence and assurance.
Lot 9
Office Stationeries and Computer consumables and Accessories.
Establishing a database for Suppliers and building effective procurement process and accountability.
Lot 10
Printing and Publishing
Quality editing, publishing and circulation. 
Good production of office, workshops and IEC materials.
Lot 11
Office Repairs and Maintenance
Quality work in the areas of Electrical, plumbering, Painting, etc
Lot 12
Motor Vehicles Repairs and Maintenance
Quality automobile repairs and maintenance.

Timely response. Good and safe garage.
Lot 13
Travels and Logistics
Good travel management – Booking of flight and Car Hiring
Lot 14
Board Governance and Management.
Training for Board Members on NGO management and oversight.
Lot 15
Office Equipments
Supplies of quality office hardware with good after sale service. Examples include Desktops, Laptops, Printers, Video Conferencing equipment, Copiers etc
Lot 16
Furnitures and Fittings
Supply of durable and modern office furniture. Examples include Workstations, Conference table and chairs, etc


Consultant/Service Provider Competencies and Requirements:
·         Must have technical skills in the area he or she is applying.
·         Demonstrable experience in the area in which he/she is applying and must provide evidence of previous works done in this regard with relevant contacts details
·         If a legal entity must have an evidence of registration.
·         Have a Bank Account and Tax Indentification Number.
·         The Consultant/Service provider must be available at a short notice.
·         Spoken and written English
·         Computer skills particularly for individual Consultants, Researcher and Experts.
Application Closing Date
Wednesday 8th December, 2017


How to Apply
Interested and qualified persons should submit their proposals indicating the Lot of interest and other requirements as stated above to: cleen@cleen.org which must include the following:
·         A Cover Letter introducing the person or organisation and how the skills and competencies described above are met, with concrete examples.
·         A 2-page outline of the proposed process and methodology for handling the area of interest selected; stating the Lot area as subject matter
·         Valid address and workshops where applicable.
·         Certificate of Technical Competence particularly for Consultants, Researcher and Experts.
·         CVs of key personnel in the organisation should be included.
·         Sample of a previous work done.
·         At least two references
·         Email must state the Lot Area as subject matter.
·         If you are interested in more than one Lot, you will need to submit the above requirement for each.

Note: Only shortlisted Service Providers will be contacted and successful applicants will be notified on or before 20th December, 2017.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

SECURITY THREAT ASSESSMENT FOR ANAMBRA STATE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION, 18TH NOVEMBER 2017

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
                          
The cycle and integrity of elections are critical to the democratic process that any perceived or real threat to elections is often interpreted as a threat to the sustenance of democracy. Since Nigeria's return to democratic rule in 1999, elections had been characterised by security and administration challenges, resulting in discredited outcomes and associated cases of off-cycle elections. The November 18, 2017 governorship election in Anambra state is the latest in the list of off-cycle elections in Nigeria. The elections will take place in a largely tensed atmosphere, shaped by the resurgence of Biafra separatist agitation by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), large number of political contestants, huge deployment of state security forces, influence of godfather politics, prevalence of cultism, and proliferation of arms, among other factors.
It is against this backdrop that CLEEN Foundation embarked on an assessment of elections security threat to the November 2017 governorship election in Anambra State. The study examined the real and potential election security threats in the state, focusing on each of the three senatorial districts. It adopted a mixed-methodology, involving both qualitative and quantitative research methods, to generate vital information on the nature and extent of threats to the November 18 elections.
The report identified some critical actors whose conduct could undermine the peaceful conduct of elections in the state. These include IPOB agitators, party thugs, political parties, armed groups (Cultists), INEC officials, security agents, judiciary, media, traditional institutions, vigilante groups, and CSOs. The way and manner these actors behave before, during and after the elections could constitute election security threats. The findings of the quantitative survey revealed that the activities of IPOB agitators constitute the greatest elections security threats (70%). The study showed that the group has the capacity to threaten the election through subtle intimidation of voters, propaganda operations using especially social media, and confrontation with security agents and electoral officials where there is weak or non-existent security presence. Besides the IPOB, other actors whose actions, inactions or misconduct could pose significant threat to the forthcoming elections are party thugs and political parties (67%), armed groups (61%), INEC (56%), and security agents (55%). The potentials of the conduct of the judiciary and media to contribute to the outbreak of electoral violence were ranked below 50%. However, there is widespread concern of possible misuse of social media by IPOB agitators, political contestants and some aggrieved individuals to instigate violence. 
The study further identified some communities or locations that are possible flashpoints of electoral violence and security breaches (see Map below). Factors such as the potency of IPOB's threat, politics of Godfatherism, allegations of gubernatorial candidates' connections to cult groups, undue exploitation of power of incumbency, and desperation of opposition parties to capture the state constitute main sources of election security threats. The threat level is shaped by factors such as high population density (especially youths), huge presence of IPOB members, stronghold of the major political heavy weights or contestants, and history of electoral violence. Locations considered to be chiefly at risk are Atani, Ekwulobia, Fegge, Niger/Head Bridge (Onitsha), Nkpor, Obosi, Okija, Okpoko, Ozubulu, Ubuluisiuzo and Uli. Places such as Abagana, Aguleri, Agulu, Amansea, Anaocha, Aroma, Ifete, Nkwele Ezunanka, Nnewi-Ichi, Nsugbe, Ogbunike Ajalli, Ogidi, Okpuno, Orafite, Osumenyi, Ukpo and Umunze are equally potential flashpoints of violence.









The study envisaged low  voter turnout in the forthcoming governorship election. Several factors could account for it. First, is the traditional apathetic disposition of most residents of the state. Second, is the threat by IPOB for election boycott, with promise of death for those who vote in the election. Third, and as a corollary to the above, is the possibility of further militarisation of the state in view of the potency of the IPOB threat. There is also widespread concern of possible post-election violence in the event that APGA loses the election to APC.



RECOMMENDATIONS
In light of the major findings as well as those common to each senatorial district, the study proffered the following recommendations for the key stakeholders.
Federal Government:
a.       Desist from deploying the military into streets during the elections in order to avoid heightened militarisation of the state that could exacerbate voter apathy.
b.      Develop a robust strategy for rapid deployment of the military to flashpoints of violence, to be activated only when and where there is serious security breaches that overwhelm the capacity of the police.
c.       Task the Ministry of Information to collaborate with the National Orientation Agency,  INEC and DSS to create a formidable influence operation team (IOT) that could proactively counter IPOB's propaganda, or hate speeches by desperate politicians and faceless individuals during the election period.
Anambra State Government:
a.       Leverage Anambra Broadcasting Service to heighten the synergy between the media and security agencies in the state to address people's concerns about securitisation and militarisation of the state.
b.      Encourage religious leaders, Town Union executives and community leaders to mobilise their people to vote in peaceful manner and assist in disseminating credible electoral information at the grassroots.
c.       Sustain public enlightenment programmes through town hall meetings, radio, television and social media on the dangers of youth involvement in cultism and consumption of hard-drugs to mitigate their consequences for the elections.

For Security Agencies:
a.       Implement robust and 'right-sized' deployment of security agents and intelligence operatives across the 21 LGAs to ensure efficient security provisioning before, during and after the election. This will ensure that the right size of security forces are deployed for the right mission.
b.      Establish a Special Inter-Agency Monitoring Team that will commence and sustain active patrolling of the roads in the state to appropriately deal with corrupt and overzealous security agents who are taking advantage of the huge force deployment to engage in the molestation, maltreatment and extortion of people.
c.       Properly publicise non-classified aspects of security arrangements for the election to boost the confidence of the people to come out and vote. In partnership with the political parties, media and CSOs, they can agree that carrying a Voters Card will be the only acceptable means of identification for moving about during the voting hours. Exception would be made for those on essential duties.
d.      Establish a special committee with representatives of political parties, CSOs and traditional leaders to conduct transparent demobilisation of vigilante groups and other informal policing outfits. Involving other diverse stakeholders will give credibility to the exercise and boost the confidence of opposition parties that are doubtful of past exercises.
e.       Leverage the findings of this study and others that have provided evidence-based insights on potentials security flashpoints to evolve or fine-tune security incident response plan for the elections.
f.       Maintain professional conduct in the discharge of their responsibility, especially when conducting stop-and-search operations, handling of suspects, management of crowd and dispersals of illegal gathering during the election.
g.      Sustain active and visible patrolling of all vulnerable streets and spots while the election is on, especially in areas with large students and youth population.
h.      Create toll-free lines for timely reporting and response to incidents that could undermine peace and security before, during and shortly after elections.
For INEC:
a.       Ensure early distribution of non-sensitive materials to all LGA headquarters, and make adequate preparation to deliver all other materials promptly on the election day for  timely commencement of voting.
b.      Emplace a special social media team (SSMT) that would constantly scan the social media horizon to counter false allegations or rumours that could undermine the legitimacy of the electoral process. The team would equally serve as a platform for entertaining complaints from the public as well as giving real-time update on the progress of the elections.
c.       Provide and appropriately communicate to all stakeholders its platform for ensuring transparent counting, collation and announcement of results. 
d.      Ensure that the posting of electoral officials is done a night to the election. This will ensure politicians do not get to know which electoral officer would work in any polling unit.
e.       Capture the biometrics of all ad hoc staff during training and their identity confirmed on the day of election to ensure that only trained ad hoc staff work on the day of election.
For Political Parties:
a.  Develop and sign Peace Commitment Charter (PCC). Through the Charter, the parties and their candidates would sign to abide by the provisions of the electoral law, desist from using political thugs, and shun hate and provocative speeches that could trigger electoral violence.
b.  Adequately train their party agents to understand their rights and responsibilities in order to avoid acts that could compromise INEC officials or the electoral process.
For CSOs and Media:

a.       Partner with the INEC and political parties to continuously and properly educate the  people as well as counter misinformation, falsehood and incitation that are capable of dissuading people from voting or triggering violence.
b.      Deepen collaboration with INEC and security agencies in area of security information sharing and voter education.
c.       Continue to monitor and provide impartial report on the entire electoral process to help protect the integrity of the elections.
d.      Conduct security awareness and sensitisation programme to encourage healthy relation between the people and state security forces.
e.       The media should report only verified information obtained from trusted sources and promote peace messaging.

For Voters:
a.       Should have the confidence to cast their votes and report observed electoral irregularities to appropriate quarters.
b.      Seek for updates and information on election matters through the right channels like the INEC information desk rather than depend on social media.

c.       Abstain from spreading unverified electoral information via social media.





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