Nigeria Election Violence Report (NEVR) in the South East
CIRDDOC was recently nominated as the South East Program Officer (PO) of National Association for Peaceful Elections in Nigeria (NAPEN), an election monitoring group charged with the responsibility of handling Nigeria Election Violence Report (NEVR) – to monitor and document election violence, educate the public about election violence and help reduce election violence. NEVR is based on election Violence Education and Resolution (EVER) developed by the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES).
Following the training of NEVR zonal Program Officers and selected states Master Trainers (MTs), the south east zone led by the PO and the 3 MTs from Enugu, Imo and Abia states undertook the following activities:
- Identification and Recruitment of NEVR Monitors: 9 (4 males & 5 females) trainee NEVR monitors, 3 each in Enugu, Abia and Imo states were identified and recruited for training
- Training of NEVR Monitors: The 9 (4 males & 5 females) recruited NEVR trainee monitors were trained in Enugu at Dannic Hotel, Enugu on 22nd December 2015 by the 3 MTs under the supervision of the PO. The monitors were trained to monitor and report cases of election violence in their respective locations. Their skills were also built on advocacy for peaceful elections, election observation, voter education and awareness creation as well as mobilizing support for peace.
- Advocacy Visit to Relevant Stakeholders: Advocacy visits were paid to selected stakeholders to introduce and solicit support for the NEVR project, raise awareness on the dangers of electoral violence and secure the involvement of election stakeholders in mitigating and preventing electoral violence. Here are the reactions of some of the stakeholders visited INEC Enugu: The commission understood the importance of conducting violence-free election, hence the series of meeting the commission held with different stakeholders in the state. The commission through the state Administrative Secretary asserted its commitment to conducting free and fair elections believing that credible election is a sure way of mitigating violence.
APC: The party identified the electoral umpires as contributors to election violence and accused election observers of not being objective, sincere and in most cases not publicizing their reports – as they are agents of the ruling party. They threatened to reject the election result and resort to violence if the election is not seen to be free and fair.
SOLID FM: The radio station identified with the objectives of the NEVR project and revealed some of its activities including audience participation programs and recorded programs/messages targeting political parties and its supporters on the need for credible and violent free election in 2015.
Consultative Meeting on with Stakeholders Violence Free-Elections in Nigeria
A one-day Consultative Meeting with Stakeholders – political parties, security agencies, media organizations, Enugu state electoral umpire was held towards increasing consensus building and dialogue between civil society organizations and other stakeholders on identifying, monitoring, and mitigating election related violence and conflicts. The meeting held on 5th February at Dannic Hotel was also intended to explore the roles that an array of stakeholders can play in monitoring and mitigating election violence. It called on the participants and indeed Nigerians to shun election violence to guarantee credible elections, good governance and development in Nigeria. On building consensus on violence-free 2015 general elections, the following were the recommendations made by the stakeholders:
- Violence-free elections starts from the home; parent should caution their wards and prevent them from being used as instruments of violence by desperate politicians
- The electoral umpire (INEC) should purge itself of any bias and desist from bending the rules to favour the incumbent
- Political offices should be made less attractive
- There is need for massive voter education among the electorates – ignorance of electoral laws and procedures contribute to electoral violence
- Media should protect their integrity by editing documents and presentations – they should be able to sensor their political programmes and messages and draw a line between freedom of expression and abusive expressions used by politicians against their opponents
- Assessment and issue based campaign is a strategy that must be adopted by every political party and candidate during elections
- Inclusive governance – successful parties or candidates should accommodate and work with other parties or contestants on the losing side.
- Candidates and parties should lean to accept defeat and drop ‘win at cost’ attitude
- Every politician should perceive every political office as call to service
- Political parties should train their agents to be tolerant and endavour to support credible and reputable candidates
- Political parties should consider quota for women in both elective and appointive political offices
- Production and Airing of Jingles: Jingles were produced in English and Igbo languages and aired in Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Enugu. The jingle was to raise awareness on the need for citizens to shun election violence, to guarantee credible elections, good governance and development in Nigeria.
- Monitoring and reporting incidents of violence, potentials for violence, peace initiatives as well as political activities including voter education and campaigns.
Incidents and casualties by state
|State||Number of incidents||Number of people killed||Number of people wounded||Number of people kidnapped||Number of incidents with ONLY property damage|