Youth Alive Foundation(YAF),Internal Foundation For Electoral Systems(IFES),National Orientation Agency(NOA),Independent Corrupt Practice Commission(ICPC),Civil Society Organizations, Security Personnel among others Today April 4,2019 held a post election town hall meeting in PortHarcourt, Rivers state, Nigeria
Prince Ekpere, state coordinator of electoral violence reporting, in his opening remarks said” deaths during election have become a normal thing”
Speaking to Journalists at the sideline of the event, Prince Ekpere said “We are here today for a town hall meeting to evaluate the outcome of 2019 general elections and see how we can share experiences and also make recommendations that will guide us in 2023 elections
He explained that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) seem to have made improvement in the level of sensitization of electorates but politicians and political parties took us back to 1999.
He noted that the level of violence witnessed in 2019 election has not been witnessed before.
Prince Ekpere described the extent of violence as worrisome while adding that all those involved should be brought to justice
Dr. Marshall Jumbo, a staff of “We The People” a centre for Social Studies and Development said “We came here to do an assessement of what transpired in the last election and also see how We can proffer solutions so that next election will be violence free to the extent that people can come out freely to vote
In the same vein, Ken Henshaw a Executive Director of “We The People ” revealed that the major reason criminality has continued in is that in previous elections ,those who perpetrated one malpractice or the other have not been brought to book.
He said ” if electoral offenders in 2015 and 2019 elections are not prosecuted, the offenders we still do it in 2023″
One of the ICPC representative, Mr Livinus in his remarks said “with our deliberations today, We will come out with suggestions that will bring about less risk in subsequent elections”
National Orientation Agency (NOA) representative in his contribuction said “We have not had credible elections since 1999 till date”
Representative of the State Commandant Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Rivers state, in his speech called for more synergy between stakeholders in the electoral process
The town hall meeting also featured question and answer/interactive session
Highlight of the town hall meeting was a panel session which featured discussions around findings on the post -election situation analysis, identify gaps and recommendations
Vote of thanks was given by Arochukwu Paul Ogbonna