“Ray of Hope, 15 years of no elections looks like getting over”
The Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC) had 5 day training workshop on ‘BRIDGE’ (Building Resources in Democracy, Governance, and Election) modular on Introduction to Election Administration for the members and staff of the commission between 12th – 16th of August, 2013, preparatory to the conduct of forth coming local Government elections in the state.
The workshop was sponsored by the Democratic Governance for Development Project II of the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) and its International partners, European Union (EU), Department for International Development (DFID), Canadian International Development Institute (CIDA), as part of their unwavering determination to consolidate on the gains of capacity programmes for Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs).
The training workshop was held at the panoramic secured serene environment of Nike Lake Resort, Enugu.
The aims and objectives as put together by the sponsors was to introduce and examine the standard principles and management techniques that are fundamental to good electoral practices to serve as a foundation module for further strengthening of study in the specialized module of the Bridge curriculum.
The plethora of topics includes; Guiding principles of Election Management, Free and Fair Elections Analysis, Election Management Bodies – Types, Structures’ and functions, The Electoral Cycle-post election period – Inhibitors, Electoral Assistance and Capacity Development, The Legal Framework of Elections-: International Standards; Reviewing Electoral Law of Anambra; Electoral Systems; Strategic Planning in Elections; Working with Electoral Stakeholders as an Electoral Management Body (EMB), Boundary Delimitation – a historic perspective, Civic Education/Voter Education Concepts, steps and programmes. Electoral Education and its content – Gender Inclusion, Voter registration; Polling: Counting, Results, Environment and material; Drafting of Electoral procedures with respect to Anambra; Managing electoral Disputes; Sustainability – process, Paradox and Support Analysis; Electoral Integrity; code of conduct for EMBs – case study.
This plethora of topics most of which are relevant to the issues connected with the conduct of the forth coming Local Government Elections in Anambra State, hitherto not exposed to and familiar with and which we have been exposed to, will be brought to bear in enhancing our capacity and efficiency in the conduct of Free and Fair elections.
The participants at the workshop were full of praises for the organizers of this programme, most especially UNDP Nigeria and particularly, the think tanks of the BRIDGE programme and their materials for bridging the gap created by paucity of articulated views on democracy, election and governance as it relates to developing democracies. The quality of the programme that is packaged to elicit from the participants a very sincere approach to solving local problems and challenges is absolutely commendable. The subtle but deliberate means the workshop programme drives the participants elucidates the comprehensiveness of the modules, with do it yourself exercises that is flexible and adaptive to local environment. The workshop has exposed us to the nitty-gritty of conducting elections as we have imbibed the ethical parameters needed to offer Anambrarians the much sought after free, fair and credible local government elections in Anambra State in particular and Nigeria in general. We cannot ask for more than we have gained as the workshop has exposed us to the need to partner with International donor agencies and critical electoral Stakeholders while sharpening our skills, procedural arrangements and mechanisms to blaze the trail as far as local government election administration in Nigeria is concerned.
The opportunity offered by the forth coming Local Government Elections in Anambra will prosper us to demonstrate all we have learnt from BRIDGE philosophy, vision and mission and according to the International standards.
The BRIDGE workshop facilitators include; Molly Kamukama, Election Consultant, Bridge Facilitator, who co-ordinated the workshop, Agoha Ifeanyi-Chukwu – Assistant Director, International Liaison Office, Chuta Chijindu I. – Asst. Director Outreach Training both of INEC and Bridge Facilitators, Sally Musa Programme Associate and Adebowale Olorunmolo, Election Expert/Consultant both of UNDP.
On behalf of the Ag. Chairman of the Commission, Hon. Sylvester Okonkwo and all the participants, we express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to UNDP for the rare opportunity given to us to partake in this workshop. We cannot thank you enough.
Kudos, BRIDGE and their facilitators.
Uzoka B. C.
Okey N. Oji
Chika Oby B.
On behalf of the participants.