YOFCI’s SEA-P Project Successfully Reduces Election Violence in Akwa Ibom state

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Uyo, Akwa IbomYouth for Change and Social Life Development Foundation (YOFCI) has successfully implemented The Strategic Engagement & Advocacy for 2023 Peaceful Election (SEA-P) project in Akwa Ibom State, achieving its primary objective of reducing conflict sensitivity and violence during the 2023 general elections NEGROIDHAVEN has garnered. 

The project, funded by LEAP Africa under the Nigeria Youth Future Fund (NYFF) and supported by FORD Foundation and MacArthur Foundation, engaged citizens through advocacy, town-hall meetings, capacity building, and media campaigns to foster peaceful electoral processes.

Harrison Udim the Project Lead disclosed on Saturday during a press conference that, during the 12-month project period, SEA-P focused on vulnerable communities, including Itu/Ibiono Ibom, Onna/Eket, and Essien Udim/Ini, identified as high-risk areas for violence and conflict during the elections. By addressing underlying factors such as the presence of key political aspirants from specific communities and feelings of disenfranchisement due to party candidate nominations, the project aimed to mitigate the risk of election violence.

Press conference in Uyo on Saturday

His words reads in part, ‘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 included press releases, governorship candidate peace pact signing, post-election outcomes media briefing, and media engagements across various platforms. The project also encouraged active citizen participation, tracked incidents of violence, and promoted the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in Akwa Ibom State.

As the SEA-P project comes to a close, YOFCI reports that its efforts have significantly contributed to fostering active citizen participation in the electoral process, resulting in more peaceful outcomes. Election analysis reports show a notable decrease in violence, especially in the initially identified hotspot areas.

YOFCI expresses gratitude to LEAP Africa, NYFF, FORD Foundation, and MacArthur Foundation for their support and collaboration, as well as the dedicated efforts of trained CSOs, media partners, and YOFCI volunteers.