Monday 6 February 2023

Election Security Risk Analysis: Hybrid Threats, Early Warning Signs And Prospects of A Seamless Political Transition in Nigeria

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Presidential and National Assembly elections in Nigeria will hold across 109 senatorial districts and 360 federal constituencies on Saturday, February 25, 2023. Similarly, gubernatorial and State Assembly elections is slated to take place two weeks after the presidential election in 28 states and 993 state constituencies on Saturday, March 11, 2023. Three off-cycle [1] governorship elections for Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states, will hold same day, Saturday, 11 November, 2023. It is interesting to note that about 48 million [2] out of the 93.5 million eligible voters in Nigeria are youths. The implication of this is that if majority of youths exercise their franchise, they might flip the outcome of the general election. Election can be likened warfare in Nigeria and the situation is not different preparatory to the 2023 general elections. If anything, the tension, uncertainty have escalated. Synonymous with every election season in Nigeria, governance is now relegated to the back seat while ethno-religious politicking, political brinkmanship, intolerance, gaslighting, dog-whistling, disinformation seems to have taken the front seat. This election security threat assessment was carried out using publicly available information (PAI), open source intelligence (OSINT) to glean and forecast likely multidimensional or hybrid election security threats in Nigeria such as internecine conflicts, cybersecurity challenges, logistics and legal issues that could hinder the 2023 general elections.