29TH APRIL - 4TH MAY 2018 - FORUM OF STATE INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSIONS OF NIGERIA (FOSIECON)
ECES within the framework of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) programme which is aimed at contributing to the reinforcement of democracy through building strong, effective and legitimate democratic institutions collaborated with the Forum of State Independent Electoral Commissions (FOSIECON) organised a five-day training from 29 April-4 May 2018 on Leadership and Conflict Management for Electoral Stakeholders (LEAD) training for Chairmen of State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) in Jos, the Plateau State.
The meeting was meant to strengthen long term capacities of the SIECs from the 36 states to effectively deal with election-related conflicts and triggers.
The Chief Technical Advisor of the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), Nigeria, Mr. David Le Notre who was represented by the former Vice-President of INEC, Burkina-Faso and ECES senior advisor, Joachim Baggnan, in his goodwill message said, “The local government (for which SIECS organize election) is an important arm of government and a veritable tool for facilitating sustainable development. By virtue of its closeness to the people, the local governments are better placed to respond to the genuine aspirations of the people especially at the grass roots.” He stated that the objectives of the LEAD training are to strengthen the leadership capacities of electoral stakeholders, increase the level of confidence and self-awareness of electoral stakeholders and provide electoral stakeholders with the necessary tools to enhance dialogue development and dialogue-based decision making throughout the electoral cycle.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, who was represented by Mr. Adeniran Olukayode, a director in the ministry, stated that the project, being implemented from 2017 to 2021, reassured of the federal government’s desire to improve the Nigerian political system and produce a fair election in 2019 hence the conscious efforts in strengthening the strategic planning, policy framework and operational system of the Independent National Electoral Commission at the National level and State Independent Electoral Commissions at the local government level. He also hoped the training will promote a well-implemented electoral process that can bring about peaceful change of power and improve their leadership skills and take on board means for preventing and or mitigating the escalation of electoral violence and conflict throughout the electoral cycle.
On his part, Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong, through his deputy, Professor Sonni Tyoden who declared the event opened said the training session said that pre and post-election violence have a way of eroding confidence in government, but strengthening democratic governance must begin with a credible, free, fair and acceptable electoral process. He called on participants to “explore the opportunity to bring our country to conformity with international best practices and standards in the conduct of elections”. He also hoped the training would avail participants the opportunity of experience sharing amongst states in the conduct of local government elections in the country.
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