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YOFCI Holds Multi-stakeholders Engagement to Avert Elections Violence in Akwa Ibom

YOFCI Holds Multi-stakeholders Engagement to Avert Elections Violence in Akwa Ibom

Participants in a group photo.

A youth based organisation, Youth for change and Social life Development Foundation popularly known as Youth for Change Initiative (YOFCI) has held a one day Multi-stakeholders forum (MSF) with support from the Foundation for Partnerships Initiatives in the Niger Delta, PIND towards averting violence related challenges in the 2023 elections in Akwa Ibom State.

 The event which is an offshoot of the Election Violence Prevention and Mitigation (e-VIP) project being implemented in eight local government areas of  Akwa Ibom State took place in Uyo, the  Akwa Ibom State capital on Wednesday, March 8, 2023.

The event, which had the theme “Averting Violence Related Challenges in the Electoral Cycle”, witnessed the presence of security personnel, government officials, political actors among other critical stakeholders.

 Briefing newsmen after the event, the Executive Director of YOFCI, Amb. Peace Edem stated that the forum sought to inform the public on the experiences, learnings, and practices that could be entrenched towards a violence free election process in Akwa Ibom State. 

Executive Director of YOFCI, Amb. Peace Edem (middle) briefing the press.

He noted that the forum was also designed to build synergy for constructive engagement to avert electioneering challenges that might result in violence at pre, during and post-election phases.

 Edem noted that the project is aimed at reducing election violence tendency across selected local government areas of the state which were highlighted as potential violence hot-spots according to the conflict tracker and local newsprint reports in the state concerning the 2023 general elections. 

The Executive Director explained that the rationale behind the intervention was based on data from the Foundation for Partnerships Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND)’s early warning system and other related sources.

He noted that a key objective of the project was to prevent and mitigate election-related violence in the lead up to, before, during, and after the 2023 elections in Akwa Ibom State through sustainable peace partnerships, collaboration and synergy amongst peace actors, relevant stakeholders, support for economic development, and peaceful coexistence among citizens of the state.

 Edem pointed out that prior to the multi-stakeholder forum activity, other activities conducted under the eVIP project included Peace Pact Signing and Communique during the NUJ organized Governorship Debate, inauguration/training of over forty (40) Local Government Coordinator’s (LGCs) and Community Stakeholders Network (CSN), and Training of 80 Peace Monitors. 

Fielding questions from newsmen, YOFCI’s Executive Director noted that so far the project  is yielding results as there was reduction of violence in Akwa Ibom State as compared to past elections.

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He said out of eight local government areas monitored, violence was recorded in one LGA where two people were killed.

The Executive Director thanked PIND Foundation for the collaboration and partnership provided in funding and technical capacities in fostering peaceful 2023 elections in Akwa Ibom State. 

The Foundation for Partnerships Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND Foundation) is a non-profit foundation that promotes peace and equitable economic growth in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region through multi-stakeholder partnerships and is funded with the support of the Chevron Corporation and other esteemed partners and collaborators. PIND works in concert with Washington DC-based Niger Delta Partnership Initiative (NDPI) Foundation.

Meanwhile, keynote address was presented by Chairperson Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators, Uyo Branch, Mfon Edemekong.

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