WANEP NIGERIA

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News Room - Conflict Prevention

BACKGROUND

WANEP Nigeria in partnership with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) organized a training workshop at Abuja on preventing/mitigating possible violent threats to the general elections at Jos and its environs. The training was of high significance in the light of the protracted and complex nature of the ongoing conflict in Plateau state with grave implication for peaceful elections in the State.  This justified the reason for Jos as a micro reflection of diverse nationwide security concerns to the general April elections across the states. The training is also a follow up activity to the previously held training on monitoring violent related activity during  the general elections supported by USIP  
Objective(s)of the program :
The major objective of the training is to enable the participants identify and harmonize specific election related risk factors and stakeholders that will be monitored during and shortly after the elections of 2011.  It also to offer opportunity for the civil society actors and other stakeholders to acquire response skills towards the prevention and mitigation of electoral violence in Jos pre, during and post Nigeria’s 2011 general elections in Nigeria.  It serves as a platform for experience sharing and contribution of civil society actors to non violent and peaceful elections while   complementing each others strength towards working at a strategic aim of preventing/mitigating electoral violence.


PROGRAM PROCEEDINGS
The training workshop takes a dynamic and participatory approach. The training makes extensive use of good practice and lessons learned from the field. The focus is on developing strategies to fill the identified gaps in the previous election monitoring and practical skills needed to create a pragmatic approach in terms of short/long term solutions to electoral violence in Nigeria. Presentations, group work, and exercises were used to give participants the opportunity for retrospection on their past monitoring/interventions strategies and also an in-depth review of the strategies to be used for peaceful election in future. The multi-ethnic composition of the group also encouraged a wide range of view points and experience sharing

OUTCOME
At the end of the training, the CSOs formed a coalition with the Vision of ensuring non violent election in Jos, Plateau state. The coalition was named “Coalition for non violent elections in Jos (CONEJ)”. The theme of the coalition for its election related activities is titled, “Be someone, vote for peace”.
Participating CSOs committed themselves to the ‘spirit’ of the coalition by sharing already existing organisational work plans designed action plans to mitigate election related violence, paving way for collaborative and coordinated intervention that is mutually supportive and effective for the state. Having explored existing structures, resources and capabilities of each participating organisations, the coalition agreed focus on information, education and communication activities as the most feasible and realistic intervention in view of the limited period they will be working before the elections. These include use of bulk messaging, radio program, sensitization, distribution of fliers, write ups(articles), advocacy visits and publicity via internet. Roles and responsibilities were assigned which was developed into an action plan for the state.
Follow up Activities
The members agreed to meet weekly to brief each other on progress made, challenges and gaps to be filled

 

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