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Report 5: Public perceptions of security dynamics & stabilisation interventions in the Niger Delta

April 2019–September 2019

Summary

This report summarises the results of a public perception survey (PPS) carried out by Stakeholder Democracy Network (SDN) in three Niger Delta States—Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers. The purpose of the PPS is to understand local-level concerns about security in the region, and priorities for addressing security-related issues.

The PPS is conducted bi-annually, with each examining public perceptions relating to the previous six-month period. The survey for this report was conducted in August 2019. The particular focus of the period under review was the aftermath of the general elections, which were held in February and March 2019, and the build up to the Bayelsa State governorship election in November 2019.

Key messages

  • Across all states, there was little difference between whether respondents felt the situation was better, the same, or had got worse over the past six months. This could highlight the uncertainty caused by the fact that low-level crime and violence was up, but it was relatively more peaceful since the general elections ended seven months ago.
  • In Rivers State, as in Bayelsa State, the period covered saw gang-related killings and kidnappings rise. Many believe this has become the norm – and cult groups remain the biggest security threat to the public in this survey, as in previous ones, across the three States.
  • Surveyed citizens continue to view creation of employment opportunities as the top priority for improving peace and security in the region, with 45% saying this should be the government’s priority, reflecting a belief that this will lower crime rates.
  • Surveyed citizens also continue to view the State Government as the most responsible and effective stakeholder in responding to security and stabilisation, which highlights the growing lacuna between the Federal Government and the region.
  • In addition to the usual questions, responses on the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) indicate that a majority of the public do not know who the group are, and out of those that do, the majority do not know their goals or believe they are acting in the interests of the region. This highlights visibility and credibility challenges for the foremost non-governmental body claiming to represent the region with the Federal Government and militant groups.
  • Specific questions on the role of women in politics highlighted that the majority of citizens surveyed feel there are not enough women in the three tiers of government, and would like to see more women in leadership roles.

This report is part of a series

Published: 13.10.2020

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