The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on January 9, 2023 accredited Rotary Nigeria National Peacebuilding & Conflict Prevention Committee and partnering organization (Gray Child Foundation) as an election observation group.
On February 25 2023, history was made as Rotary Districts in Nigeria, an Initiative of the Rotary Inter-country Committee of Great Britain and Ireland – Nigeria, became the first Rotary International entity to be given a National Election Observation status in the World; and on this day, Nigeria became the first Country in 118 years of Rotary’s existence, where a Rotary entity would be observing their national elections.
In a statement, Head of Mission, Rotary Districts in Nigeria Election Observer Group, Rtn. Pietro Uzochukwu Macleo recounted the organization’s activities culminating in the recognition and accreditation of the group by INEC.
He said several grassroot interventions were implemented in partnership with government agencies, international organizations and civil society organizations among others. Pre-election interventions ranging from the state-to-state grassroot training-of-trainers workshop on peace resiliencies, voter education and human rights awareness and nationwide peace advocacy walk for violence free 2023 general elections were all part of advocacy programmes in preparation for the national exercise.
He further stated that there were several capacity enhancement interventions for members of the Rotary Districts in Nigeria election observers, including the collaborative capacity training for Rotary and Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) Election Observers, and pre-election safety and security trainings amongst others; all in preparation, and to ensure that Rotary and associates contribute meaningfully to a seamless 2023 general elections.
“We are glad to announce that Rotary Districts in Nigeria Election Observation exercise was seamless with remarkable outcomes; noticeably, it increased Rotary International’s visibility, created awareness and helped deepen trust and collaborative spirit amongst the masses and government; and NO Rotarian was harmed or endangered in the process! Congratulations and special thanks to District Governors of Rotary International District 9110 (Rtn. Omotunde Lawson), 9125 (Rtn. Goddy Nnadi), 9141 (Rtn. Mightyman Aye Dikuro) and 9142 (Grace Chiboagui Okaro), and members of the Rotary Intercountry Committee of Great Britain and Ireland – Nigeria, especially Rtn. James Onions and Rtn. Wole Kukoyi for their unwavering support, encouragement and guidance, which ensured the success of this historical intervention,” the statement added.
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