David is observing the elections in Nigeria, a country with a history of poll-related violence

On February 16, presidential and parliamentary elections will be held in Nigeria. David Dahmén from Linköping in Sweden is on deployment from FBA to the EU election observation mission in the country. Nigeria has a history of poll-related violence. Over 800 people were killed in connection with the 2011 elections, and the latest election in 2015 saw around hundred fatalities.

David, you have been an election observer for over 20 years. How would you describe the situation in Nigeria?

– I am on deployment as a long-term observer, spending a total of two months based in the city of Osogbo in southwestern Nigeria. There is a risk of violence in connection with the election campaign, including violence directed at me and my observer colleagues. The EU places great importance on security and we always have armed police officers with us, wherever we may go. Other forms of violence, outside of electoral violence, is a threat as well. Heavily armed robbery gangs regularly carry out attacks on the roads here, for example.

Have you witnessed any signs of electoral violence in Nigeria?

– Me and my closest colleague have met some aggressive young men. But the police officers that are always with us have warded them off. Recently, one of the mission’s security officers also told me that he had seen dead people on the road, they were killed in a robbery attack. It is, however, not sure that it has anything to do with the elections.

How can election observation missions prevent electoral violence?

– Our presence in the polling stations on election day may discourage perpetrators of violence. It is not unusual for voters to come by and thank us for being there. If violence nevertheless occurs, our standard operating procedure is to quickly withdraw and contact our security officers and the local police, that hopefully can intervene. International election observation missions also do good in the long term, contributing to a peaceful and democratic development.

MORE FROM HOME

Research has to reach out with results that can be put into action

After 20 years with the women, peace and security agenda we are still far from the goals where women’s participation in peace processes is a key issue. The UN Secretary General has called on international actors to look into their ways of working. To what extent can research help us develop the work for peace and security to become more efficient?

2020-12-18 11:47

Read our publications

""

Youth, Peace and Security Adviser’s Handbook

Never before in history have there been so many young people on the planet. A very important cornerstone for reaching sustainable peace and security is to ensure that young people have the rights, tools and opportunities, to participate in a meaningful manner in statebuilding and peacebuilding processes.

Documents
Attributes
Author:
FBA
Year:
2020

THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Hanna Bertelman

    Creating space for dialogue in Colombia

    In Colombia, four years after the signing of the historic peace agreement between the government and the FARC guerrilla, local civil society actors are a pivotal force for promoting change. The FBA, together with CIASE, a network of women´s organizations, and the Colombian National Police is enabling a space for joint learning for civil society actors and police officers on human security, leadership, and dialogue and mediation.

    As most of those who have seen a peace process ... Read entire post »

    2020-12-16 12:44
  • Posted by Annika Folkeson

    Avenues for accountability and participation: harnessing the power of the streets

    While much of the world awaits the upcoming US presidential elections in November, Iraq remains ensnared in its own deliberations over elections. Following the protests that escalated significantly in October 2019, the government resigned and early elections are now set for June 2021.

    The lack of jobs and public services, as well as rampant corruption, are among the grievances that have set off demonstrations across much of southern and central Iraq, as well as parts of Kurdistan ... Read entire post »

    2020-10-22 12:19
  • Posted by Minna Naucler

    ‘Defund the police’ and reforming the security sector

    In the midst of the pandemic, riots and unrest continues in the US over the recent cases of police brutality that resulted in the deaths of several African American individuals. While the Black Lives Matter movement continues to draw attention to the structural racism and inequalities of the American society, one of the slogans of the movement is ‘defund the police’ – seemingly meaning to disband or even abolish the police and give their funding to… ... Read entire post »

    2020-09-30 12:26
""

Johanna Malm

Johanna is expert on the Democratic Republic of Congo

More about our experts

Upcoming courses

""

Our partner countries

FBA is part of Sweden’s development aid within the area of peace and security

Read more about the countries where we work

Twitter