The meeting is aimed at sensitizing stakeholders from identified interest groups representing people from all works of life in the LGA on the consequences of election related violence, before, during and after the forthcoming general elections. The project is facilitated by AA PeaceWorks with sponsorship from foundation for partnership in the Niger Delta (PIND). A total of 155 persons were in attendant.
Issues discussed at the meeting Are:
- Voter education for proper conduct of election.
- The role of citizens in ensuring violence free fairs elections.
- How to observe and citizen report conduct of election through the reclaim Naija Platform.
- The various stakeholders in the local government working with INEC and the security agencies to ensure violence free and fair elections.
- The non – violent election project – social media, video vignettes, radio programs.
- Identification of any current election early warning signs.
After a detailed highlight on the above topics by the facilitators, the floor was thrown open for contributions from stake-holders.
The following issues were identified by stake-holders as early warning signs for election related violence.
- Poor distribution of PVC’s
- Allegations that some politicians are buying PVC’s
- Issue of financial inducement.
- Agents of some political parties are involved in the illegal distribution of PVC’s.
- That the above is aimed at disenfranchising supporters of the opposition.
- Allegation that INEC is been partisan
- Several persons have deliberately refused to collect their PVC’s, because of lack of confidence in EMB.
- Issue of insecurity during election.
- Late arrival of electoral materials
THE WAY FORWARD
Stakeholders, at the meeting equally suggested the following measures as solutions to the issues raised during deliberations
- That the distribution of PVC’s should be taken to the units were registration was done for easy accessibility.
- That NOA should redouble their efforts in sensitizing the electorate; because it appears they have been sleeping on their job.
- Traditional rulers should liaise with relevant authorities (INEC) to ensure that their subjects collect their PVC’s.
- Traditional leaders and youth presidents of the various communities should monitor the distribution of PVC’s in their communities.
- INEC should endeavour to be neutral, so as to restore the confidence of the electorate.
- Citizens should report cases of illegal distribution of PVC’s to security agents.
- That citizens should not sell their voters cards, because if they do, they would have mortgaged their conscience.
- Adequate security measures should be put in place to forestall intimidation and harassment of voters.
- INEC should ensure early arrival of materials to the various unit for the conduct of the election.
- Chief Eke Bolou
- Mr. Baniska Joseph
- Mr Asamowei Samuel
- Mr Edward P. Buseri
- Rev. Aluta ThankGod
- Mr Comr Otoworo Gesiye
Madam Biobeigha N. R
- Tonyeseigha Arthur
- Mrs Ebikinei Odo
- Chief Macarty McPherson
- Miss Erebi Sussan