Vote Not Fight: Election No Be War Campaign

Vote Not Fight Campaign: 2023 General Election

FACE Initiative implemented the Vote Not Fight – election No Be War Campaign in the South South states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta, Edo and Rivers, in the buildup of the 2023 general elections. Vote Not Fight is a non-partisan campaign that was implemented nationwide. It is designed to increase the participation of young people in Nigeria’s political and electoral process by promoting nonviolent and constructive youth engagement with political stakeholders, electoral umpire, security agencies and other stakeholders pre, during and post 2023 general elections.

The project created awareness on the electoral process and increased civic and voter education amongst voters for their effective participation in the electoral process. Citizens voices were amplifying through the conference and media platforms. The project also strengthened issue based campaigned by advocating for the endorsement of the Governance Advocacy for an Inclusive Nigeria (GAIN) document. The GAIN document articulates the development priorities of youth, women and people living with disabilities in Nigeria. Although there are reservation on the credibility of the 2023 general elections, the elections can be adjudged as an election where citizens voluntarily participated in the electoral process, enduring the lapses of the electoral umpire in the effective coordination of the elections, some waiting until later in the day to cast their vote and followed through to monitor the collation process.  

Vote Not Fight Campaign: Bayelsa 2019 Governorship Election

 FACE Initiative worked with 2baba Foundation, with support from National Democratic Institute (NDI) to implement the Vote Not Fight (VNF) Campaign in Bayelsa State. VNF campaign was designed to increase public awareness on the electoral process. It secured commitments from perpetrators of violence for peaceful participation in election processes, and also reached out to key electoral stakeholders such as political parties, their candidates and campaigns coordinators; vulnerable youth groups, traditional and religious institutions; security agencies; the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other key electoral stakeholders to promote peaceful conducts during the November 2019 Governorship election in Bayelsa State.

The campaign mobilized youth to shun violence with political party youth leaders signing a peace accord after a joint peace match to publicly declare their support for non-violent election – the November 2019 governorship election was termed the most peaceful election in Bayelsa State, since the return of democracy. There was increased youth turn-out for the November 16 election with community groups (chief, youth, CDC and women) collectively developed and implemented community strategies to prevent electoral violence. There was increased public discuss on the electoral process, with youth groups engaging candidate on issue-based campaign. Stakeholders (INEC, security agencies, youth groups, traditional and religious leaders, political party and their candidates) committed to peaceful conduct during election.

FACE Initiative is empowering marginalized groups, especially women and youth and strengthening institutions through enlightenment, capacity building, advocacy and collaboration.

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