Elections are complex undertakings with explicit and implicit risks before, during and after the elections.
A scan of the Nigerian environment, by Academy Halogen clearly indicates a high level of apprehension, among the citizenry and stakeholders, concerning the forthcoming 2019 general elections. It was also discovered that there is no template of/for multi-stakeholder engagements. Conversations among experts are thin on the ground with no framework to guide election activities, especially those that involve crowd management and voters’ involvement.
These findings led to our organizing a policy roundtable on 6th December 2018, with representations from varied groups and agencies [public and/or private] – from security to media, to practitioners and young people.
This policy piece emphasizes the strategic importance of institutionalizing enterprise security risk management [ESRM] in the forthcoming 2019 elections. This paper shared the responses of Nigerians and their risk ratings of/for the election and the recommendations of experts at the roundtable, whilst guided by the
International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistant [IDEA] policy paper [No. 14, November 2016].
Most of the recommendations are ‘comprehensive’ and ‘all at once’ approaches [IDEA, 2016], suggesting voters’ education, effective use of technology, specialized training of/for security agencies, multi-agency approach and defined the role of the media – as top priorities.
Academy Halogen, therefore, suggests that all stakeholders, especially institutions, should adopt an enterprise security risk management approach as a model of ensuring effective management of elections in Nigeria.
Whilst institutionalizing risk management, it is imperative that the nation, via the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] and security establishments, ensure that the processes and structures created for ESRM in our elections are sustainable, alongside a multiagency forum for exchange of risks’-data, coordination, risks’ prevention and mitigation efforts.
Enterprise Security Risks: 2019 General Elections
In February and March 2019, Nigerians will go to the polls to elect the country’s next president, legislatures and state governors. Elections in the country have historically been tense and tainted with violence. As the campaign gets underway there are concerns the upcoming process may see new forms of violence.
Evidence shows that Nigerians are apprehensive about the forthcoming general elections.
In a survey by Academy Halogen, 76% of respondents rate the 2019 elections as high risk and over 80% believe that the elections will be violent. These figures pose a serious concern to observers and stakeholders, who see these elections as a test of the robustness of Nigeria’s democratic consolidation.
For many citizens, it can be inferred that the forthcoming elections will not be a sit-and-watch event. The unanswered questions at the Academy Halogen’s round table were: what is the measurement of a “free and fair” election? Also, what are the acceptable risks of an election?