By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
Nigeria’s frontline election observer, Yiaga Africa has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the shortcomings observed in previous elections are properly addressed ahead of the Governorship elections.
Yiaga Africa stated this on Thursday during its pre-election press briefing in Abuja.
Meanwhile, the observation process is supported by the European Union through its Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN).
Specifically, it said INEC should ensure proper and consistent communication with the transport union and companies providing logistics support to ensure early election day deployment. “This also includes the need to ensure that only trained ad-hoc officials are deployed on election day.
“INEC Should ensure proper and timely communication with stakeholders on the election day process, challenges experienced and immediate plans to address those challenges to inspire citizens’ confidence in the process.
“Yiaga Africa calls on the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Elections Security ICCES to ensure that security personnel deployed complies with the code of conduct on election security. This includes professionalism in their conduct, arrest of electoral offenders and respect for the rights of citizens, media, and observers, including the right to freedom of movement on Election Day for duly accredited observers and media practitioners.
“Yiaga Africa calls on Political parties, candidates and their supporters to commit to peaceful campaigns ahead of the election and on election day and refrain from vote-buying and compromising the secrecy of the ballot.
“Yiaga Africa urges voters to resist efforts to purchase their votes, to turn out in their numbers and vote according to their preferences on Saturday, March 18 and remain peaceful during the election.”
Yiaga Africa further said it will deploy a total of 1,547 duly trained and accredited stationary and roving observers to observe the conduct of the Governorship election in 28 states. “Yiaga Africa will be deploying the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology to observe the governorship elections in Benue, Delta and Kano states. This will involve deploying 900 stationary observers to a representative randomly selected sample of 300 polling units for each of the states, Yiaga Africa will also be deploying 97 roving observers in the three states.
“Additionally, Yiaga Africa will deploy 517 stationary observers and 33 roving observers in the other 25 states where the governorship elections will be held, to observe and report on the entire election day process from setup of the polling units, accreditation, voting, announcement and posting of the official results and will send in periodic reports to the Watching the Vote National Data Centre.
“At the end of polls, Yiaga Africa observers will deploy to all LGAs and State’s results collation centres to observe and report the results collation process. This deployment will enable Yiaga Africa to provide the most timely and accurate information on the governorship elections in the states.”