The 2011 general elections were the best Nigeria had ever known in terms of preparedness and credibility of the process in the eyes of the Nigerian population and the international community.However, as the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is assiduously preparing for general elections in 2015, expectations for an increased performance of the commission are higher than ever.
Over the years, boundary delimitation has remained a very contentious subject in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere. The issue has involved ethnic, religious, geographical and political considerations at once, making it one of the most complex and technical subjects in electoral administration.
The issue of boundary delimitation is one of the main priorities of the INEC for 2013 as a new process is soon to be launched, consisting in revising the demarcation last made in 1998. For these very reasons, from November 12 – 16, 2012, 42 staff of the Nigerian Electoral Commission gathered on the Victoria Island of Lagos to improve their knowledge and skills on boundary delimitation.
The training was organized in close partnership with the Democratic Governance for Development (DGD) program of the UNDP, which was originally designed to provide a coordinated mechanism for supporting the deepening of democracy in Nigeria by international donors and partners. The main objective of the DGD project is to assist Nigerian authorities to consolidate and advance democratic governance and accountability in order to achieve the stated development priorities and outcomes of the country. Managed by the UNDP, the project is jointly financed by the European Union, the UK Department for International Cooperation, the Canadian International Development Agency, the Korea International Cooperation Agency and UNDP (http://www.ng.undp.org/dgd/).
The training was facilitated by:
Kamissa Camara, Lead Facilitator &BRIDGE Expert Trainer; and
Bodunrin Adebo, UNDP/Nigeria Senior Electoral Advisor & BRIDGE Workshop Trainer.
Keeping in line with BRIDGE standards, the training was organized in 2 batches of 21 participants each, with each training taking place over a 2-day period.
Training activities included:
Boundary delimitation principles
The impact of electoral systems on boundary delimitation
Steps in the boundary delimitation process
Redress procedures in boundary delimitation
Specific case studies (Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria)
At the end of the training, participants expressed their sincere gratitude to the facilitators and to the UNDP for making such a training happen and asked for more to come as the INEC prepares for general elections in 2015.