The post election peace consolidation forum held last week in Owerri and drew various stakeholders from across the South East geopolitical zone. Participants came from Imo, Ebonyi, Abia, Anambra and Enugu states and represented various agencies, organizations and political parties. The program held at the City Global Hotel along Port Harcourt road Owerri and was aimed at examining practices that led to electoral violence during the election period. It also sought to learn some of the strategies that stakeholders employed to prevent them from happening. Another major objective of the forum was to introduce the concept of alternate dispute resolution strategies to the stakeholders.
The event was implemented by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) with funding from the European Union and supported by INEC. The event facilitators shared the various lessons learnt while implementing the MOVE project which was the pilot project done prior to the election. MOVE stands for Mitigation of Violence in Election. It was launched in January 2015 and executed across the nation. The lessons shared included success stories and challenges faced. The major challenge highlighted was insecurity especially in the North Eastern part of the country.
The introductions was followed by highly participatory and insightful panel sessions. The first panel session looked at 2015 election violence and mitigating strategies: Electoral violence incidents and tried to access the good practices in mitigating them. The panel also looked at things that can be done to improve on the existing best practices. The second session looked at the impact of electoral violence, commitment of stakeholders to non-violence campaign during elections while the final session profiled alternate dispute resolution department and its available resources to the public.
The sessions raised various reactions from participants and panelists with many calling on media practitioners to take up their role as stakeholders in the electoral process by ensuring they inform the public and take their concerns to appropriate authorities. We will publish the major concerns raised by the participants during the forum. It was a really engaging session with many actionable recommendations to deliver better and violence free elections in future.
Photos from the forum: