Premium Times (Abuja)

Nigeria: Report Lists Rivers, Borno, Nasarawa, Others As Volatile States Ahead of 2015 Elections

A non-governmental organisation that promotes public safety, security, and access to justice, CLEEN Foundation, on Wednesday listed eight states as the most volatile with high risk of security threat during the 2015 election.

The organisation stated this in its report titled Security Risk Assessment Towards the 2015 elections.

The eight states are Borno, Rivers, Bauchi, Plateau, Kaduna, Benue, Nasarawa, Delta, Sokoto, Adamawa, and Yobe states.

The report, supported by the Macarthur Foundation, grouped the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory in three clusters namely: High risk, Relatively volatile/mid level threat states, and stable/lowest threat states.

The mid level threat states include: Bayelsa, Imo, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Kogi, Niger, FCT, Katsina, Kano, Oyo, Ogun, Lagos, Edo, Taraba, and Gombe states.

Abia, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ondo, Osun, Ekiti, Kwara, Kebbi, Zamfara and Jigawa states are listed as stable/lowest threat states

According to CLEEN Foundation, the key indicators of possible security threats in various states of the nation include the ongoing insurgence in the North East, communal, ethnic or religious contentions in the country, increasing poverty, unemployment and youth exclusion, merger of opposition parties, and possible violent disagreement over leadership and candidates, activities of militant youth groups and contention over candidates including zoning of presidential or gubernatorial candidates.

The organisation said the various forms insecurity taking shape in the high risk states range from activities of militants to vigilante group, the high stakes of election as a result of the availability of derivation revenues, the ethnic heterogeneity that makes elite consensus more difficult to attain, as well as the difficult environmental terrain that makes policing of elections a herculean task.

The report held that the merger between smaller political parties is an opportunity for opposition parties to align and challenge the dominance of People's Democratic Party (PDP), adding that the merger will provide a backdrop for a keenly contested election in 2015.

In its recommendation, Cleen foundation suggested the coordinated activities of election security stakeholders; disbandment/regulation of cults, militia and vigilante groups, training for journalists on conflict sensitive reporting, prosecution of electoral offenders; as well as gender equality in respect of political access to women in various parts of the country.

The organisation also expressed worry that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is not prepared for the 2015 election as voters registrations are yet to be updated, relevant amendment to the electoral laws are yet to be carried out, and inadequate security plan and strategy for high risk regions not sorted.

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