From March 11 through 15, 29 members of the State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) of Imo, Enugu and Ekiti States gathered in Abuja (Nigeria) to share ideas, practical experiences and strategies on electoral administration. The training was part of a series of BRIDGE trainings the UNDP has been organizing in Nigeria under the Democratic Governance for Development (DGD) program since 2010. The project is jointly financed by the European Union, the UK Department for International Cooperation, the Canadian International Development Agency, the Korean International Cooperation Agency and UNDP.
As the 37 Nigerian State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) are tasked with the organization of local government elections, this BRIDGE workshop was the perfect avenue for three SIECs to exchange best practices and lessons-learned on electoral administration in the specific case of Nigeria. We were lucky to have an extremely vibrant group who made quality contributions to the different sessions and created an extremely positive atmosphere in the training room.
Some of the participants’ expectations at the beginning of the session included:
– Acquire the ability and skills to organize free and fair elections;
– Become more acquainted with processes and strategies to conduct elections that will meet best international standards & practices;
– Be equipped with skills to conduct effective get-out-the vote and voter education campaigns.
The enabling environment created by the participants allowed a very fruitful training in which all training objectives were met.
On Day 2 of the workshop, Mr. Ibrahim Bawa, head of the INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) Legal Department, covered the session on the “Legal Framework for Elections”. Participants were extremely interested and very encouraged by the great presentation, which was an eye-opener to the strengths and weaknesses of the Nigerian legal framework.
Facilitators to this training were:
• Ms. Kamissa Camara, Expert BRIDGE trainer and Lead Facilitator – UNDP Consultant;
• Mr. Jude Okwuonu, BRIDGE Workshop Facilitator – INEC Acting Director of Training Department;
• Ms. Mary Nkem & Mr. Nasiru Umaru, Semi-Accredited Facilitators – INEC staff.
Both Mary and Nasiru worked really hard and did a wonderful job. Please join me in congratulating them for their full accreditation as BRIDGE facilitators!