This report presents the results of a public perceptions survey, carried out by SDN in Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states. It focuses on citizens’ perceptions of the current security situation in the Niger Delta, and views on the actors and interventions aiming to address the problem of instability and insecurity in the region. The survey was conducted throughout September and October 2017. A questionnaire was completed by 293 respondents, and a focus group discussion (FGD) was held in each state.
• The perception is that the security situation in the Niger Delta has remained the same, or slightly worsened over the past 12 months.
• The biggest security concerns included cultism, the activities of politicians – in particular use of violent groups in and around elections – militancy, and a fear of military reprisals in association to this.
• Citizens have varied opinions about who is responsible for ensuring their security and ensuring stability in the region. They often rely more on informal security actors, such as traditional rulers and vigilante groups. Security services are often seen to be undermining security, rather than improving it.
• The Niger Delta New Vision initiative has some level of recognition – a number of people were aware of the Vice President’s visits and felt these had been effective. However, a far greater number cited the effectiveness of the Amnesty Programme.
• There are concerns about the transparency and representativeness of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), although there is a feeling that having a group representing the interests of the region, and engaging the Federal Government to demand a greater prioritisation of the needs of those living in the Niger Delta, is essential.
• There’s a strong desire among the public for the government (and other actors such as PANDEF) to consult and engage them in decision making, and for better communication about their activities.