Violence and Ethics in Electoral Processes in Nigeria

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Violence and ethics in electoral processes in Nigeria
Report on the Round Table Discussion on VIOLENCE AND ETHICS IN ELECTORAL PROCESSES IN NIGERIA

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in cooperation with the Women Environmental Programme (WEP) convened a round table discussion on “Violence and Ethics in electoral processes in Nigeria” on the 20th February 2013

The round table brought together Chief Mrs. Sarah Jibril, the special advicer to the President on Ethics and Values, representatives of the Nigerian armed forces and other law enforcement agencies like the judiciary, independent observers and experts from local NGOs. The different political parties had representatives who actively presented their views on the matters discussed. The development of the existing state of electoral events in the country from independence to democracy in ’99 up until now generated ideas, strategies and recommendations that can be useful to overcome the challenges faced by the country. The seminar included two sessions of paper presentations, keynote addresses and panel discussions on the roots and sources, consequences and implications of violent elections as well as identifying issues on campaign ethics in Nigeria. Inputs were given by several speakers, which included Mr. Echezona Asuzu, president of the Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE); Rev. Fr. George Ehusani, clergy and executive director of Lux Terra Leadership Foundation; Barr. Stella Odife, former deputy governor of Anambra State; A. D. Umar, lecturer at the Kaduna State Polytechnic; Prof. Tajudeen Akanji, resident of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Ibadan and most notably Dr. Mrs. Sarah Jibril. The speakers presented the audience with practical experiences, insights, and views both at organizational level and national level. The participants representing a broad range of institutions in the public as well as private sector brought to the event a valuable mixture of experiences and perspectives. The feedback of the participants confirmed that the seminar was very much appreciated as well as that there is a pressing need for practical approaches and for more opportunities to discuss the many issues and the prospects for a common ethical stability, which in electoral processes in Nigeria would lead to peaceful elections in the future. Proceedings and Contents of the Discussion The seminar was opened by the KAS country representative, Mrs. Hildegard Behrendt-Kigozi, who offered a welcome note to the participants and gave an excellent introduction to the seminar and overview of the scene, she further stressed the importance of issues like this to the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung by giving a brief background of the work of the foundation. She thanked the speakers and participants alike for finding time out of their busy schedule to take part in discussions of this nature. She extended gratitude to those who traveled from throughout the region and within the country to exchange ideas. This was followed by another welcome note from the co-organizers; Prof. David Ker, a board member at Women Environmental Programme (WEP) and former Vice Chancellor of Benue State University and VERITAS University. He pointed out that WEP has been actively involved with several issues surrounding elections and political violence among youths in Benue and Taraba States; he further expressed gratitude at partnering with KAS in organizing this seminar. The floor was thrown open for the key note address of the Chief Mrs. Sarah Jibril. She started by thanking the KAS and WEP for the initiative in putting together a topic of such importance up for discussion. She also thanked the president of the country for reestablishing the office of Ethics and Values. The special adviser to the president discussed the need for positive transformation. She traced the roots of the problems to the obvious lack of constitutional set up that allows the politicians to stay naïve about their duties and...
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