Non-Violence in Elections Advocacy Group (NViEAG) is an arm of my Consultancy Outfit, Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa & Associates, with me, Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa as the Lead Conflict Transformation Specialist. For more information about me and my work, see other relevant posts on this blog and my LinkedIn profile: https://ng.linkedin.com/in/dayo-oluyemi-kusa11b38630
NViEAG was conceived in the run up to the 2015 General Elections when the situation in Nigeria was very tense and I thought in my own little corner I could make a positive difference in the area of Prevention of Election Violence (PEV). Our focus is the training of women and girls in the art of Conflict Transformation which could eventually lead to Conflict Resolution.
The details of the Three-Module Course which comprises 1) Peace & Conflict 2) Conflict Management & 3) Mediation are only available to our clients. The third Module, Mediation, entails Role Play by the participants, where we simulate real life situations in a controlled environment. This hands-on involvement of the participants in the learning process ensures that they remember what the process of Mediation is all about, and how it could prevent and indeed manage Election Disputes.
"In Africa, we tend to focus on elections, celebrate them as 'the milestone'. But as it is often said, 'elections do not a democracy make'. We must look behind the process and examine the barriers that shut down competition before the campaigns ever start" - Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of Liberia & 2017 MIF Prize Laureate. NViEAG is our own contribution to the process of 'looking behind the process of elections and examining the barriers that shut down competition...'.
We could curb Violence in Elections by addressing the root causes of same. Some of these are:
1) Lack of confidence in the Electoral Process.
2) Absence of Internal Party Democracy
3) Maintaining the independence of the Election Management Body (EMB) - INEC
4) Re-assurance of the safety of the individual voter, gladiators, Party agents and other stakeholders before, during and after elections.
5) Violence Against Women in Elections (VAWE).
The above list is not exhaustive but represents only a few of the myriad of problems that could lead to and sustain Violence in Elections. The goal of NViEAG is to effectively impact our trained Mediators for Election Conflict Prevention, while disseminating Information, Education & Communication (IEC) materials for the sesitisation of voters against Election Violence (EV).
In the run up to the 2019 elections, NViEAG continues to strive to contribute its quota to the desired goal of Non-Violence in Elections by intensifying the training of targeted groups of women. The next in the series of training programmes comes up tomorrow, 28th July, 2018 for Women Advancement for Economic & Leadership Empowerment in Africa (WAELE/ARCELFA). WAELE is operational in 53 countries in Africa. The training programme coincides with their annual convention which is taking place in Abuja.
Mediation is indeed a powerful tool which can be used for prevention/management of conflict. But training in the art of Mediation and Conflict Transformation are necessary for the trained Mediators to master the art of peace advocacy, That's where the services of NViEAG are needed! Our team of Chartered Mediators/Conciliators & Conflict Transformation Experts would arm participants with the necessary skills...