The leadership of Youth for Change and Social Life Development Foundation (YOFCI) has briefed the general public on the successful implementation of The Strategic Engagement & Advocacy for 2023 Peaceful Election (SEA-P) project in Akwa Ibom State with the primary objective of raising citizen’s awareness, voice, and action on conflict sensitivity and violence before, during, and after the 2023 general elections.
Speaking during a press conference at the organization’s headquarters in Uyo, the Project Lead, mr. Harrison Udim said “The SEA-P project is funded by LEAP Africa, implemented under the Nigeria Youth Future Fund (NYFF), and jointly supported by FORD Foundation and MacArthur Foundation.
SEA-P sensitized and engaged with citizens on conflict sensitivity and election violence before, during and after the 2023 general elections through advocacy visits to relevant stakeholders’, town-hall meetings/ sensitization, capacity building, and use of media, on how to maintain peace and reduce conflict and violence all through the 2023 general election process.”
Will you like to work and live in Canada? Find out more
The project equipped citizens with information on how to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner all through the election period to avoid conflict or violence. Communities that were highly prone to violence and conflicts were identified across the three (3) senatorial districts and spotlighted for the campaign.
They included Itu/Ibiono Ibom in Uyo Senatorial District, Onna/Eket in Eket Senatorial District, and Essien Udim/Ini in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District. The presence of several key political aspirants from a particular community or LGA, and the feelings or sense of disenfranchisement by unacceptable party permutations in the internal nomination of party candidates were some of the underlying factors fueling the high rate of conflict and violence propensity in the targeted locations of the project.
Activities conducted under the SEA-P project include: Press release issued at the flag off of the project; inception meeting with other CSO partners, and media partners; production of IEC materials for awareness creation; stakeholders’ engagement in project target locations; governorship candidate peace pact signing at the AKS Governorship debate; post-election outcomes media briefing; and post-election media engagements on several media house platforms.
The SEA-P project promoted the collection of PVCs across the state, encouraged active citizen participation in voting on designated election days, tracked and reported incidents of violence in spotlight communities for immediate interventions, and mitigated incidence of violence through strategic stakeholder engagement and communication across the state but specifically in Itu, Ibiono Ibom, Onna, Eket, Essien Udim and Ini local government areas.
Udim also said “as the SEA-P comes to its project end, we can report that with the exception of the few election violent incidents that was recorded in Ibiono Ibom LGA during the SEA-P project cycle, official election analysis reports published on these target communities shows that the contributions of SEA-P helped immensely in fostering active citizen’s participation in the electoral process, peaceful electoral processes, and less violent outcomes, especially when compared to the initial reports that identified these locations as possible hotspots for high election violence and conflicts.
The SEA-P project thrived through the collaboration and partnership efforts of few trained CSOs, Media partners, and Volunteers of YOFCI among many others.”
Youth for change & Social Life development Foundation aka Youth for Change Initiative (YOFCI) is a unique non-governmental organization established to help minimize societal challenges through the transformation of young people’s mentality positively by developing their capacity on Education/leadership development, Policy/Peace advocacy, democracy & good governance and entrepreneurship.