Friday 28 October 2022


Between the 26th and 27th of October 2022, 'Multidimensional security threats in Nigeria: Challenges, options & opportunities for the 2023 general elections' was the subject matter of intensive discourse under the auspices of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES). The parley was held at the De Silver Green Hotel, Abuja. Some of the sub-themes were:

*Gender, youth, cyber threats & managing narratives: A build up to the 2023 general elections.

*Security sector oversight of the electoral process and the inter-agency consultative committee on election security (ICCES): An agenda for a new strategy

*Cyber threats & managing narratives around elections.

*ICCES: Agenda for a new strategy.

Photo L-R: Matthias Dold (First Secretary, Political Affairs, German Embassy & Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa

Some of the participants are:

*Dr. Daniel Mann - Resident Representative, FES-Nigeria

*Matthias Dold - First Secretary, Political Affairs, German Embassy

*Oseloka Obaze - Keynote Speaker         *Dr. Hakeem Tijani

*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa                         *Dr. Freedom Onuoha 

*Salaudeen Hashim                                  *Dr. Chris Kwaja

*Florence Kayemba                                  *Dr. Pauline Igbokwe                                

*Dr. Sunday Adejoh                                  *Dr. Olajumoke Jenyo

*Dr. Babatunde Gbolahan                         *Dr. Pauline Igbokwe

*Mrs. Ayesha Yesufu

             Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa on the first day of the conference @ the Experts' meeting...

Some highlights of the deliberations are as follows:

*The role of social (new) media would be germane in teasing out narratives before, during and after elections.

*Hate speech, fake news, misinformation and disinformation, deep face, cyber bullying, etc. need to be tackled headlong.

*Victory via the ballot box vs victory via Court pronouncement needs to be interrogated.

*The role of non-state violent actors, and their capacity to derail the electoral process needs to be monitored. The privatisation of security outfits is a case in point.

*Prebendalism and the transactional nature of the electoral process is a danger signal.

*The youth bulge, the critical mass of which are illiterate/unemployed youth needs to be burst in order to prevent/mitigate violence.

*There is a lacuna in the composition of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES). Academics, CSOs and relevant individuals need to be coopted.

*Mandate protection is essential during elections.

*Violence against women in elections and indeed politics (VAWiP) needs to be given special attention, beyond tackling violence against persons.

                                                Dayo on the first day of the conference

*Rivalry among security agencies needs to give way to effective cooperation for peaceful elections.

*There are real and imagined threats to the realisation of peaceful elections.

*The increasing role of technology in improving the integrity of elections is welcome. There is a caveat, however: Ethics and protection of data stored in the 'cloud' is necessary.

*Surveillance of the physical space by the security forces should extend to cyberspace in order to capture online and off-line engagement on the electoral process and societal peace in general.

On the whole, we had useful conversation. If the recommendations are taken seriously by the relevant authorities, we may see peaceful, relatively free, fair and credible elections in the horizon in 2023...


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