The West Africa Network for Peace building (WANEP) Nigeria has launched the Online National Early Warning System (NEWS) Platform and the ArcGIS 360 mobile application as part of measures to prevent violence and other threats to the 2019 general elections.
Speaking during the launch and training of 80 Election Conflict Monitors in Abuja, WANEP Executive Director, Dr. Chukwuemeka Eze, said despite the widespread success of the 2015 general elections, there were reports of over 60 violent incidences resulting in 58 deaths and wanton destruction of properties.
He said this necessitated the series of activities by the organisation partnering with ECOWAS, African Union (AU) and others to ensure the peaceful and credible conduct of the election, especially that it is being seen by political analysts as a test for the nation’s democracy and stability.
Speaking during the event, the Programme Officer (GIS) and Mapping, Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Early Warning Directorate of ECOWAS commission, Mr. Ismaila Gueye, said “If you look at the last election in Ghana, Benin or any other country, you will see that there is a lot of progress.”
Also, the Information Systems Officer, Continental Early Warning System, Peace and Security Department, African Union Commission, Taye Abdulkadir, said the AU has a number of frameworks that have been designed through the years to provide good governance, election, democracy.
On her part, the Analyst for West Africa, Early Warning System, Peace and Security Department, African Union Commission, Mfrekeobong Ukpanah, said there are series of threats and there are series of signs and that was why they started the project in collaboration with ECOWAS and WANEP in October.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has promised that the 2019 polls will be free and fair despite fears from the opposition.