FLY, CODE, Launch Partnership By: Julius Konton

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One of Nigeria’s leading non for profit groups, Connected Development Initiative (CODE) and the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) have officially launched a long term milestone partnership aimed at monitoring the processes and outcomes of the 2023 general election in Liberia.

CODE for short is based in Abuja , Nigeria and founded in 2012 by a prominent Nigerian anti corruption activist Hamzat Lawal.

Among other things , the group focused on empowering marginalized communities to demand goods and services by creating dialogue and building citizens capacity to hold their government accountable.

Speaking at the partnership ceremony CODE’s Chief Executive Officer HamzatLawal hailed Liberia for successfully sustaining its people process since twenty years now, adding that it is a historic lesson learned experience that needs to be followed by other African Countries.

He also commended the young people of Liberia for their resilience in ensuring that such milestone peace process is achieved.

CODE, he stated, is operating in eleven African Countries including Liberia and has brought on board as part of the partnership wealth of experience in observing elections evidence of the successful monitoring of elections in Kenya, The USA and Nigeria over the last seven years.

Among other things, he stressed that their focus of Liberia’s election is to look at the process of elections itself, the operations of the National Elections Commission, National Security Agencies as well as the marginalized groups.

“We are interested in pre-elections incidents, elections day activities as well as post elections,” he further informed the media.

The social accountability advocate said their partnership with the Federation of Liberian Youth is to also ensure that processes that will trigger elections violence to include what he refered to as politicians-doing, insightful comments among others are exposed and reported in a drive to save guard the peace process.

“We will want an outcome of the elections that will be peaceful, an integrity and transparent outcome that will be satisfactory to the Liberian people”, he re-emphasized.

According to him, the two institutions as part of the partnership envisioned an outcome that will be accepted and embraced by the people as they all work collectively towards deepening Liberia’s democracy.

Under the partnership, CODE he disclosed will deploy a technology tool called UZABE.

UZABE he explained is a real time technology data drive platform that will look at real time happenings at various elections centers and will report as they unfold.

“We will train FLY observers to have the tools and skills necessary to send in reports in real time especially when elections related incidents occurred,” he narrated.

Their transparent reports backed by evidence he told reporters at a news conference will be reported to the National Elections Commission and relevant Security agencies in order to respond and address such issue and to help inform the integrity and outcomes of the elections.

Speaking about the young people of Liberia , he indicated that they have a key role to play in these elections including the governance system of the Country.

It is about time, Mr. Lawal stated,  that the young people of Liberia and on the continent of Africa stand in solidarity to remain peaceful, proactive and resilient in ensuring that the Africa that the continent so desire is may possible.

Using the occasion to officially launch the UZABE’s Nigeria 2023 Report whilst presenting copies to his new partner, the Nigerian entrepreneur further disclosed that the partnership is a long standing one and will also include: capacity development, exchange programs as well as knowledge and experience sharing between the two institutions among others.

Also speaking at the press conference was  the President of the Federation of Liberian Youth, Banica Stephanie Elliott, who commended CODE for what she described as a timely and significant partnership especially ahead of the October 10, 2023 election in Liberia.

She pledged FLY’s commitment to the partnership and assured  her partner that the young people are willing and prepare to work in ensuring the peace of the Country is sustained and maintained to the core.

The first female president of FLY, at the same time, demanded the total involvement of the young people throughout the entire elections process.

“This election requires the young people’s commitment in upholding the peace of Liberia,” she noted.

Madam Elliott maintained that the young people of Liberia constituting approximately 70% of the Country’s population remain overly committed to protect and defend the jealous peace and democracy of the country.

“We are very pleased to have this partnership and we will work in  collaboration to achieve one goal and we  hope that the outcome of the elections will be a true representation of the people themselves”, she urged the NEC.

As part of the partnership, FLY she mentioned will establish a Youth Situation Room that will collect real time data from its observers on the field and will report on various happenings about the elections across the fifteen political subdivisions of the Country.

Already she informed her partner (CODE) that FLY has rolled out some elections related programs to include: the monitoring of the just ended Biometric voters registration process, the signing of the Butuo Declaration , a commitment for young political actors to keep the elections peaceful and not to return the Country and its people the dark and ugly past.

Meanwhile, the Head of Secretariat of the Liberia Elections Observation Network (LEON), Augustine Tamba, urged the both parties to be committed to the partnership for the betterment of all.

He said LEON supports initiatives that will promote peace including the Democracy of the Country.

Mr. Tamba said the partnership which is in line with the network objective is laudable and serves as a unique boost to LEON’s ongoing initiatives and interventions.

“We work in monitoring activities of the legislature , social media monitoring including key surveys on national issues “, he added.

According to him, it is key for advocacy to be backed by empirical data, facts  or evidence stating that the scientific nature of work that will be done by both CODE and FLY through the UZABE platform will go a long way for the election process of the Country.

 

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