The Methodology Workshop for the deployment of Election Violence Mitigation and Advocacy Tool (EVMAT), for Field Workers Towards 16th of July, 2022 Governorship Election in Osun State held on Saturday 14th May, 2022 at Oshogbo, Osun State.
The opening ceremony was graced by the Chairman Board of Electoral Institute (BEI), Professor Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, REC Osun State, Prof Abdulganiyu Bolaji, both ably represented by Mr Sylvanus Yape Deputy Director R&D. The Chair BEI in his Opening remarks conveyed the greetings and goodwill from the Hon Chairman INEC, the Commission members and entire staff of INEC.
Prof Zuru explained the mind set of many political players in our clime, who often times make preparation for elections as if it is preparation for war. He warned that INEC as an election management body finds this totally unacceptable and refused to be dragged along this thinking.
The Chair further stressed the importance of EVMAT which is used in identifying and mapping possible areas of electoral violence which could occur before, during or after election period and proffer effective preventive measures to immunize the electoral process.
He drew the attention of the participants to the fact that every electoral process has its peculiarity. He however, mentioned some factors that are known to be triggers of electoral violence:
1.manipulation of tribal and ethnic sentiment
2.Misinformation of the media and;
The Hon Chair urged field agents to keep in mind that EVMAT is about saving lives, safeguarding the electoral process and delivery of free, fair and credible peaceful and inclusive election.
Dr. Sa’ad Umar Idris (DG, TEI) in his remarks welcomed participants to the workshop. He informed the gathering that EVMAT which is the brain-child of TEI is designed by the Commission to provide information on the potential hot spots and flash points that will enable the Commission and security experts and stakeholders to synergise for the purpose of developing strategies to mitigate the occurrence of such violence.The DG also said INEC in recent past has deployed EVMAT in bid to test the pulse of various players e.g the just concludes FCT Area Council Election, Anambra State Governorship election, Edo, and Ondo States Governorship elections.
The DG explained that the participants have been carefully selected to receive proper training before being deployed to the various local governments in the State to administer the instrument which will be analysed and coded.
He urged all to take the workshop seriously.
The Resource person Dr. Willie Eselebor, while taking the participants through the nitty – gritty of the EVMAT methodology and ethical issues explained the importance of EVMAT as an apparatus used by the Commission to identify flash-point for violence and further stressed the proactive necessity for developing strategies to mitigate the occurrence of such violence during the upcoming election. He urged all participants to take the workshop very seriously as the Institute and the Commission reposed alot of confidence in them.
The participants were also taken through the use of field instrument application.