Accra, Nov. 30, GNA - The Executive Director of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) Mr Chukwuemeka Eze has expressed optimism that the December 7 polls will be peaceful.
A statement issued by WANEP and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday quoted Mr Eze as saying that going by the level of preparedness and especially the concerted efforts of civil society organisations and collaboration with key state institutions especially the National Peace Council and other stakeholders, the elections would be held in an atmosphere of peace.
“I am envisaging a peaceful atmosphere for people to exercise their franchise and ensure that Ghana’s democratic credentials are not dented,” he said.
"WANEP is leaving no stones unturned towards ensuring that peace prevails in the upcoming elections. We in WANEP are prepared and have been monitoring the security situation through our robust early warning system,” he added.
The statement said WANEP with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the Election Monitoring, Analysis and Mitigation (EMAM) project.
It said the project was inspired by WANEP’s desire to contribute and commit to the sustenance of peace during the elections and based on organisation’s past intervention experiences in the 2008 and 2012 general election.
It said WANEP in collaboration with other major stakeholders also played a key role to promote a peaceful outcome in the 2012 elections.
According to Mr Eze, WANEP made significant impact in previous elections but this year, WANEP would up its game adding: “We did it in previous elections but I assure you that this year we have made further progress,” he added.
As the leading civil society organisation for peace and security in West Africa and a resource to African Union and ECOWAS, WANEP is sufficiently prepared for the elections and has set up modalities for the sustenance of peace and stability during this period.
The Election Monitoring, Analysis and Mitigation (EMAM) Project provides real time data on potential risks and hotspots to inform prevention of violence and mitigation before, during and after the elections.
Under this project, WANEP and its partners have established an Election Situation Room with a central coordinating body in Accra and two satellite rooms in Kumasi and Tamale and deploying 750 observers to monitor the elections.
Following on the launch of the EMAM project in May, WANEP facilitated the formation of the National and Regional Election Response Groups as well as an enhanced collaboration with the National Peace Council and the Ministry of Interior for the prevention and mitigation of electoral violence.
Further, WANEP revised the election monitoring indicators developed in 2012 to reflect current dynamics and threats to look out for in 2016 elections.
It has also added new features to its highly developed Peace Monitoring Centre where it generates and analyses information on the electoral process and provide to National Peace Council and other relevant stakeholders.
In recognition of WANEP’s expertise and professionalism in election monitoring, several groups and organisations have been visiting WANEP to receive update on the dynamics of the electoral processes in the run up to the elections.
Some of the organisations include delegation from the African Union, the National Democratic Institute, the United States Institute of Peace and the International Republican Institute and delegates from the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa.
The groups commended the level of information provided and the sophistication of the early warning system.