The Women Situation Room Nigeria (WSRN) has opened a situation room in Abuja, to monitor the 2019 elections.
A statement by the Media Consultant to the group, Sola Odeja, said the WSRN, is a process that was set up in 2015, with the help of the UN Women Nigeria.
“In 2015, we primarily observed the general elections from a gendered perspective, providing conflict mitigation strategies across the states in which we observed the elections in.
“We observed the general elections across the six geopolitical zones focusing on hot spots in 10 states FCT inclusive. We had an evaluation of the process in 2016, and looked at what works best, and this led to an expanded model of the WSRN that has structure across the 774 local government areas with 36 state coordinators, six zonal coordinators and a national coordinator.
“We developed programmatic interventions that focused on multiple levels within the communities where we had women peace-builders working to strengthen the resilience of communities and the states. In the last three years we focused on strengthening the collaborations in their engagements across this different level and this has led to a platform with over 40 women focused organisations working in it. In the last three years, the group has focused on strengthening collaborations and deepening engagements across the different levels,” he said.
The group added that from community peace building projects with national peace engagement sessions it has seen the impact of the process expand.
“This has culminated into setting up of the physical observatory of the general elections to have a gender assessment of the processes here in Abuja. And across the 13 states of Nigeria namely Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau, Benue, Kaduna, Katsina, Osun, Lagos, Imo, Enugu, Delta and the FCT.
“We do hope that with the long term monitoring of violence against women which we started late last year, we will develop a database of incidents spread across the 36 states. We also plan to have sex disaggregated data of violence against women, when they occur across the 36 states. We shall connect with the observers in the 13 states to get a feel of how the process is happening on election day. We call on INEC as an umpire in this process to ensure that we have free fair and credible elections. Furthermore, we call upon the security agencies to please ensure neutrality and safe guard the lives and properties of all the Nigerians. Women, men and youths should also commit to peaceful elections,” the group stated.