Closing Civic Space, Citizens’ Distrust and Insecurity Ahead of the Imo Election

The effective management of democratic elections is a multi-layered responsibility that is dependent on several factors and the actions of respective institutions. The Imo governorship election is expected to be conducted in a volatile security environment with some of the local government areas (LGAs) and some communities more prone to violence. Accordingly, the successful administration of a peaceful and transparent election will be dependent on the collaborative action and effective coordination of respective institutions like the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Nigeria Police and other Security Agencies. In addition, is the political will of both the Federal and State governments to ensure access to required resources for both INEC and the Security agencies for the election while guaranteeing non-interference with the process. The security context in Imo state has a grave impact on the quality of participation in the election as it potentially limits the extent of civic engagement, voter education and political party/candidate campaigns.