As part of measures in ensuring a peaceful and violence free 2019 general elections, a non governmental organisation known as Partner for Peace (P4P), the Niger Delta, Edo State chapter, held a sensitization workshop to engage relevant stakeholders in Edo South and Central Senatorial Districts.
Welcoming participants, the Edo State coordinator of P4P, Mrs. Agatha Osieke, Esq., said the role of peace in the development of a State cannot be overemphasized, especially as the State is moving from one level of democratic dispensation to another. She said the workshop was meant to sensitize stakeholders on the best ways to ensure violence free elections in the State.
Speaking, a peace advocate, Engr. Eugene Okoguale said P4P is in the nine Niger Delta States and was initiated by Partners Initiative in Niger Delta in 2013. He said the NGO was a network dedicated to promoting peace in the region.
“What we do is intervening, promoting peace and mediating in conflict. We have a database where we are being informed about conflict and some of such information is being used by security agencies”, he said.
Also speaking, the Chairperson of National Council of Wonen Society (NCWS), Dr. Mrs. Omololu Eniye said peace is what is needed to grow and to change unpleasant situation. “If you want to change the situation, you don’t need to fight, you only need your PVC. Violence comes where there is hate speeches, vote buying and defacing of billboards”, she said.
Presenting a paper on promoting a violence free elections, Catechist Alphonsus Odiawa gave the following as factors relevant in promoting violence free elections: “possession of a permanent voters card (PVC), avoidance of hate speeches, INEC being unbiased umpire, avoidance of vote buying, and security agencies and traditional rulers must remain neutral”.
There were goodwill messages from the representatives of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Orientation Agency (NOA), FIDA, National Youth Council of Nigeria, the Police, and others.