By George Odok
Calabar – Mr David Le-Notre, Project Director, European Union Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) says effective communication strategy, is a vital tool for the conduct and management of electoral processes.
Le-Notre said this on Monday at the opening of a four-day training on Communications Strategy and Leadership for Heads of Voter Education and Publicity of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) holding in Calabar.
The ECES project director said that the workshop was aimed at improving the leadership capacity of INEC management at all levels.
Le-Notre said that the training would help INEC personnel in the discharge of their mandate with credibility and integrity.
“The specific objective of this training is to strengthen the long term capacity of participants to effectively deal with related conflict and its triggers.
“Communication is the most important thing in an election; If people understand who and why they have to vote, there will not be conflict.
“During this training, we are going to discuss on how we can mitigate conflict. We are going to give the participants the necessary training and the tools to be used,’’ he said.
He added that the training would properly equip the participants on decision-making and extensive insights into managing triggers of conflicts and conflict sensitive reporting throughout the electoral cycle.
Mr Solomon Soyebi, the National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, said that the training would strengthen the long-term capacities of its heads of Voter Education and Publicity across the country.
Soyebi, who was represented by Dr Frankland Briyai, the Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Cross River, noted that the training would equip the participants with the knowledge of handling likely situations ahead of the 2019 general elections.
According to him, the voter educator is saddled with the task of educating and informing the public and other electoral stakeholders on policies, programmes and activities of the commission.
He expressed confidence that the training would increase their leadership skills and help them come up with modalities of mitigating the escalation of electoral violence and conflict in the electoral process.
“We are here to train heads of department of voters’ education and publicity of the commission who will help us to disseminate all our activities during and after the election.
“We have a lot to do ahead of 2019, and this training is very strategic because we are going to have a peaceful election in 2019,’’ he said.
Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, the Director of Voter Education and Publicity, called for the adoption of international best practices in the Nigerian electoral process.
Osaze-Uzzi urged the participants to make judicious use of the training as the commission was planning for the 2019 polls.
NAN reports that 36 participants, drawn from all the states of the federation, are attending the workshop. (NAN)