ICE @ Rivers

Who We Are.

Initiative for Credible Elections (ICE) is an independent, non-partisan, non-government domestic election observer group and advocate of good governance, based in Port Harcourt, Rivers state. Nigeria. The ICE Nigeria was formed in February 2018 to engage in grassroot mobilization and conscientization of “Critical Mass” of people to say NO to ELECTORAL VIOLENCE and promote PEACEFUL, TRANSPARENT and FREE and FAIR and NON-VIOLENT elections in Nigeria in the forthcoming 2019 General Elections and beyond.

Elections are a central feature of democracy because they “enhance citizens’ participation in governance, ensure government accountability and encourage political competition”. Peaceful, transparent, free and fair and non-violent elections are the basic and crucial prerequisites and elements of democratic government and governance. The election would be credible, when rules, regulations and laws governing the electoral process are followed and ultimately, the credible candidate will be freely and fairly elected to represent the electorate.

Our focus is promote credible election process in Nigeria in order to promote democracy and good governance in general as well as violent-free elections in particular whilst adhering to internationally acceptable standards. Our ultimate vision is the elimination of violent elections in Rivers state and across the nation. We are looking forward to a Nigeria where elections will be ultimately determined by ballot and not by courts!

“When the electorate believes that elections have been free and fair, they can be a powerful catalyst for better governance, greater security and human development. But in the absence of credible elections, citizens have no recourse to peaceful political change.” – Kofi Annan, seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006.

ICE Nigeria will be working with partners and stakeholders to help ensure that elections reflect the will of the people, ensure the integrity of elections and promotes longer term governmental accountability as well as popular political participation. 

Brief History

The 2015 general elections in Rivers state was characterized by violence. This led to prolonged post-election political tensions, bitterness and enmity between the two major political parties and their supporters. The 2015 post-election resentments almost paralyzed the socio-economy activities of the state as many businesses relocated from Port Harcourt, the capital city of Rivers State to other cities in Nigeria. A group of concerned citizens led by Dr. Ledum Mitee, Dr. Sofiri Peterside, Baritor Kpagih, Don Cookey and Nesta Komolafe do not want the repetition of the electoral violence that occurred in Rivers State in 2015 general elections to reoccur in the 2019 general elections. With this focus, ICE was formed to promote peaceful and violent-free election in Rivers state in Nigeria. ICE Nigeria will promote the democratic institutions in Rivers and in Nigeria through safeguarding citizen rights and promoting public participation in the electoral process to promote transparency, accountability and inclusiveness in the electoral process.

Vision

A Nigeria where election violence is eliminated and credible electoral processes are upheld at all tiers of society.

Mission 

To promote democracy by providing strong advocacy and strategic platform that aims to improve the quality of credible elections and good governance in Nigeria.

Our goal

To do grassroot mobilization of people to shun violence

Objectives

  • To promote a peaceful, violent-free, transparent, free and fair electoral processes
  • To conscientize citizens on the need to eschew electoral violence and other criminal acts during elections.
  • To influence transparency, credibility and inclusiveness in democratic and electoral processes.
  • To provide evidence based analysis for effective civic and policy engagement initiatives on democracy and elections.
  • To provide a Platform for Monitoring and Observing the Electoral Processes.
  • In order to achieve our objectives, members of the ICE are grouped into 5 programmes, which implement ICE activities all over the country with secretariat coordinating the work.

Our Core Values

  • Independent – that Ice will be free from external influence and control.
  • Non-partisanship – that ICE executes its mandate for the benefit of all political players.
  • Credibility – that ICE as a movement is non partial, objective, reliable and up to date.
  • Solidarity – that ICE acts in unison with all well-meaning civil society organisations, electoral stakeholders and institutions

Citizen’s Political Rights

The ICE Nigeria advocates and promotes every citizen’s political rights and enhance electoral transparency and accountability through:

  • Electoral Justice – that state institutions must be accountable and transparent.
  • Participatory Democracy – that all citizens must be empowered to participate.
  • Integrity – that the whole electoral process must be violent-free, trustworthy and reliable.
  • Respect for Human Rights – that the rule of law and freedom of expression and assembly must be upheld.

Our Social Action

    The four priority areas for ICE social action are:
  • Advocacy (Mass mobilization, Sensitization/Education/Awareness and Conscientization)
  • Engagement (Civic, community and stakeholder engagement)
  • Dialogue (Discourse and action and policy engagement)
  • Partnership (Networking with like-minds)
  • Systems Approach to social action

ICE utilizes the Systems Approach to its social action, which is based on four major strategic models – Advocacy, Engagement, Dialogue and Partnership (Community engagement and mobilization, civic education, policy engagement and civic engagement).  This approach recognizes the interrelated nature of our programming, which is focused and dependent on research as illustrated by the diagram below.