The Executive Director of CLEEN Foundation, Dr Benson Olugbuo has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies to play by the rules ahead of the conduct of the elections.
Olugbuo who gave the charge at the foundation’s 20th anniversary in Abuja, advised that a free, fair, transparent, inclusive and violent free election is possible when citizens engage aspirants in fruitful dialogues and campaigns are issue-based, devoid of hate speeches or inflammatory statements.
According to him “Our votes must count and Nigerians expect the Federal Government to create an enabling environment where citizens will freely exercise their rights to participate,vote candidates of their choice without fear of retribution or violence.
He further explained, “CLEEN Foundation was originally founded by Mr. Innocent Chukwuma in 1998 as the Centre for Law Enforcement and Education in Nigeria.
“The first direct support CLEEN received was a grant of 1000USD from the Netherland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in August 1998.
“Some of our earlier success stories include the establishment of community policing forums in 14 local government areas drawn from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria; reactivation of the Police Public Complaints Bureau(PCB) in four states; developed guidelines for police officials on electoral duty; monitoring of police conducts from 2003 – 2018 general elections, working with the Police Service Commission, the Nigeria Police force and other strategic partners to develop capacity for the exercise of their mandate.
“Other successes of CLEEN Foundation include, coordination of Altus Police Station Visitors Week from 2006 to 2013; production of good practice guide on Democratic Governance of the Security Sector; internship and training program that produces local, regional and international ambassadors of CLEEN Foundation across the globe.
” In furtherance of our mission statement, we have partnered with government agencies including the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Armed Forces, civil society organizations, international organizations, development partners, the media and the organized private sector etc.
“CLEEN Foundation is today an institution of immense value to Nigeria and the global community. It has become a hub for knowledge enhancement in public safety, security, justice, research, accountable and democratic governance and a reference point for many scholars interested in understanding the criminal justice system in Nigeria.
“Over the last 20 years, we have built resilience as an organization featuring on both the supply and demand side of justice and have remained firmly focused on our mission and commitment to delivering the target goals set for the organisation,” he said.