By Samuel Oyadongha & Emem Idio – Yenagoa
Ahead of the November 16 Bayelsa State Governorship Election, the Stakeholders Democracy Network, SDN, in collaboration with the United Nations Democracy Fund, UNDEF, has trained thirty staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Bayelsa State on capacity building and election practices.
The one-day training workshop according to the facilitators is to strengthen the existing experience of the staff of the Commission to identify and respond to electoral violence during the forthcoming governorship poll in the state.
In his remarks, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in charge of Bayelsa State Pastor Monday Udoh, commended SDN for organising the training and expressed satisfaction with the standard of the training adding that the knowledge acquired will add value to the experience of the staff.
The REC who reiterated the resolve of the Commission to conduct free, fair and transparent elections, pointed out that the Commission will do everything to ensure that governorship election comes November 16, is credible.
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Earlier, the SDN Advisor and Facilitator Mr. Chris Newsom said the training was in line with the vision and mission of the organisation which includes “advocacy campaigns and direct engagements improve dialogue between political institutions and citizens through mechanisms of downward-facing accountability and demand for responsive governance.”
He said: “What informed this training is that over time we have discovered that previous elections have been marred by a lot of narratives that are associated with lack of capacity of INEC officials and we discovered from our end that for election to be free and credible and it is very important to build the capacity of stakeholders like INEC.
“After building their capacity it is expected that the (staff) should be able to train the ad-hoc staff that will also conduct the election on the election. We want to charge INEC to be transparent in whatever they are doing so that post-election conflicts can be minimized.”