A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), The Cleen Foundation, has trained 130 Senior Police Officers ahead of the forthcoming general elections.
The officers were trained by the foundation in Gombe and the Federal Capital Territory on election security management.
The group’s Executive Director, Benson Olugbuo, Executive Director, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.
Mr Olugbuo noted that as the police took the lead in election security, there was the fundamental need to enhance officers” skills and capacity to monitor the elections.
He said the foundation would provide the necessary support needed to the police to ensure effective election management for the elections.
“We are set to support the police and we are not only set out to achieve peace and security during elections, but also for the consolidation and deepening of our democracy.
“We are aware of the enormous tasks expected of police in this year’s general elections, and we are also mindful of the challenges facing the police which make it difficult to effectively deliver on their core mandate.
“We boldly say that we have worked with the police for over 20 years since its establishment in 1998 and during these periods, there were challenges that we noticed which strengthened our collaboration with the police,” he said.
Mr Olugbuo said the foundation was privileged to get the approval of the police authority to train its officers on election security management for the 2019 general elections.
He posited that the training was aimed achieving capacity building and enhancement in managing elections security and other matters.
The executive director reminded the police that the forthcoming general elections presented an opportunity for Nigerians and the international community to measure and rate the standard of the Nigeria Police.
He, therefore, urged the police to be professional in handling security issues before, during and after the elections.
Mr Olugbuo, however, expressed worries that as the country prepared for the general elections which were only few days away, that there were threats that some parts of the country would experience some electoral violence.
“For instance, we conducted a Nationwide Survey between October and December 2018, the survey is to identify electoral risks that are likely to affect the 2019 general elections.
“The survey is also to help the election stakeholders, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Security Agencies and Civil Society Organisations to deploy appropriate responses.
“The survey examined potential security threats to the elections across the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
“It found that vote buying is the foremost of the fourteen risk factors that could generate tension or electoral violence.
“Also, across the 36 states, the overwhelming majority of the respondents believed that citizens’ disaffection with government either on policy grounds or economic considerations could cause electoral violence,” he said.
Mr Olugbuo noted that the other actors identified by respondents of the survey that were likely to cause electoral violence, were; political parties, religious extremists, cultists, and other armed groups.
He said also that security agents, hate speech, drug abuse, exclusion of certain groups on the bases of age, gender and religious identity, including media partisanship were also risk factors.
The executive director welcomed and congratulated Mohammed Adamu, the new Inspector -General of Police, who was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari to replace Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, who retired from service after attaining 60 years of age.
He commended the police for their commitment to protecting lives and property and also reiterated the commitment of the foundation to work with the new IGP and his team.
He also assured Nigerians that they could count on the police on violence-free general election.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the police officers recently trained by the foundation were from Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Bauchi, Borno and Yobe state command.
Cleen Foundation is an NGO in Nigeria promoting public safety, security, justice, research, and advocacy, with a mission to promoting public safety, security and justice sector reforms throughout Nigeria.