An Election Monitoring Group, Yiaga Africa said that the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) official announcement on the votes cast during Osun governorship election was consistent with the group’s Watching the Votes (WTV) estimated range.
Addressing a news conference on Sunday in Osogbo, the group’s Board Chairman, Dr Hussain Abdu, said had the official results been changed at the ward, local government or state collation centres, the results would not have fallen within the Yiaga Africa WTV estimated ranges.
He said, ” because the official results fall within the estimated ranges, candidates, parties, and voters should have confidence that the official results for the Osun 2022 gubernatorial election reflect the ballots cast at polling units on Saturday, July 16, 2022.
” It is important to highlight that the counting process at polling units was transparent and included representatives from the four political parties that received the most votes”.
Abdu said that the group employed the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology and deployed 500 observers in pairs to a representative random sample of 250 polling units, 32 mobile observers in all 30 local government areas and 30 results collation observers.
According to him, the deployment strategy enabled Yiaga Africa to provide timely and accurate information on the election day process commencing from the set-up, voter accreditation, voting, counting and to independently verify the official results of the election as announced by INEC.
Abdu said Yiaga Africa commended the people of Osun for their resilience and commitment to a non-violent election.
He said the group encouraged the voters to sustain their participation in the electoral process beyond the elections by holding political parties and candidates accountable for their campaign promises.
Abdu, however, called on INEC to audit the newly created polling units and ensure equitable distribution of voters to the polling units.
He said In cases where voters had been allotted to new polling units, INEC should update the voter records on its website and communicate the changes to prevent voter disenfranchisement.
Abdu said Yiaga Africa thanked the many Nigerians across the state who volunteered to serve as non-partisan WTV citizen observers on behalf of all the people of08039223866
An Election Monitoring Group, YIAGA Africa has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the early arrival of polling officials and materials at the Osun governorship election on Saturday.
Addressing newsmen on the group’s Mid-day situational reports on Saturday, Dr Hussain Abdu, the Board Chairman of the group, said by 9:00 a.m., 89 per cent of the polling units in the state had begun accreditation and voting.
He said: “Yiaga Africa WTV observed the early arrival of polling officials and materials at polling units across the state.
“As of 7:30 a.m., Yiaga Africa WTV observers reported that INEC officials had arrived at 78 per cent of polling units.
“By 8:30 a.m., 41 per cent of polling units had commenced accreditation and voting and by 9:00 a.m. 89 per cent of polling units had commenced accreditation and voting.
“This, however, increased to 96 per cent by 9:30 a.m. This is consistent with Yiaga Africa’s observation findings in the 2018 elections, where 91 per cent of polling units opened by 9:00 a.m.”He also said that the group observed the deployment of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) across the polling units visited which functioned optimally.
Abdu also commended INEC for the deployment of assistive materials in polling units.
He said the Braille ballot guides were observed in 60 per cent of the polling units, while the PWD poster was seen in 71 per cent of polling units and PWD voter information and statistics were seen in 79 per cent of polling units.
Abu, however, said that the group received reports of acts of alleged vote buying perpetrated by agents of the APC and PDP in some polling units.
“For instance, PU 009, Akinlalu Commercial Grammar School, Ward 01 in Ife North, the party agents strategically positioned themselves by the voting cubicle to see how voters marked their ballots.
In PU 003 Opp.
Olomu Mosque in Osogbo, PDP party agents were allegedly seen handing out between N2000 and N5000 to induce voters.
“Also, in Disu Polling Unit 003, ward 7 in Orolu LGA, APC agents were allegedly seen distributing N4000 to voters who voted for the party while PDP party agents were also allegedly seen distributing N2000 to induce voters,” he said.
He said the group commended the good people of the state for their peaceful conduct during the voting process.
“YIAGA will continue to provide updates on the voting and counting process and will provide independent verification of the election results as announced by INEC.
“Yiaga Africa appeals to INEC, all security agents, political party candidates and their supporters as well as all Osun people to work together to ensure that the Osun gubernatorial election is credible and peaceful,” he said.
An election monitoring group, YIAGA Africa, has identified suspected threats to the peaceful conduct of the Osun governorship election scheduled for July 16.
It told newsmen in Osogbo on Wednesday that recent escalation in the activities of political thugs, cultism, and voter inducement were potential threats.
It commended recent arrest of some political thugs, but added that there was an urgent need for more intelligence to be deployed in addressing the rising threats and ensure more arrests and prosecution of culprits.
The submissions were made by YIAGA Africa’s Director of Programme, Ms Cynthia Mbamalu.
“Yiaga Africa’s pre-election reports have revealed the activities of cultists and political thugs in some local government areas as capable of threatening the peaceful and credible conduct of the election, if not contained.
“In addition to these threats, there are also attempts by some political mercenaries to manipulate the process right from the pre-election stage.
“In spite of the foregoing, the preparation for the Osun governorship election has seen a religious implementation of the electoral timeline by INEC,’’ she said.
She said the critical job of effectively securing citizens, electoral materials and stakeholders without any bias should remain a priority for security agencies before the election.
Mbamalu added that the rate of voter inducement across the state was on the increase.
She noted that if the practice of vote merchandising was not curbed, it would consistently delegitimise political mandate and undermine the electoral process.
She said the group was also concerned about the uncouth and unguarded utterances by some political actors in the state in their efforts to woo voters.
“There is no doubt that these desperate utterances by major actors going into the election demonstrate a lack of caution and sportsmanship.
“This is capable of not just intimidating prospective voters, but also inflaming the political environment, if not checked.
“We call on these actors, especially those of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to exercise restraint and advise their supporters to play by the rules,’’ she stressed.
Mbamalu also commended INEC on its efforts on Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) collection by old and new registrants.
She said: “however, we are concerned about the strategies deployed to ensure that the more than 333,179 newly-produced Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) are collected by voters before July 16.
“The PVCs are currently being collected at the local government councils’ offices.
“Reports from the `Watch The Vote Long Term Observers’ (WTV LTOs) reveal that prospective voters are crowding some INEC Local Government Area offices with little hope of getting their PVCs before the election.’’
In his remarks, a YIAGA Africa board member, Ezenwa Nwangu, commended INEC for its preparatory activities and called on it to provide better oversight at its local government areas offices.
He charged security agencies to ensure that all personnel deployed for the election were adequately trained and operated with all sense of responsibility, professionalism and neutrality.
“Security agencies should ensure the arrest and prosecution of those involved in any form of violence and voter inducement in the days leading to the election.
“Security agencies, especially the police, should publicise telephone hotlines for citizens to register complaints, report incidents, or access information on the election,’’ he said.
Nwagwu also said the distribution of money, gifts and food items by political parties and candidates to induce voters featured throughout the campaign period.
This, he added, was observed and reported by the group’s Long Term Observers.
“This ugly trend is undermining the credibility of electoral mandates.
“During this reporting period, more events associated with voter inducement were reported in Ife Central, Ife North, Ifedayo, Ilesa West and Odo-Otin local government areas.
“Specifically, food items such as garri and beans were seen being distributed to people as a campaign strategy in these local government areas,’’ Nwagwu said.
Yiaga Africa, a group of electoral observers, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve its process of conducting elections in the country.The Executive Director, Yiaga Africa, Mr. Samson Itodo, made the call at the post election of the group.press conference in Abuja on the sidelines of the just concluded Federal Capital Territory (FCT) area council election.Itodo said Yiaga Africa deployed trained and accredited citizen observers under its Watching The Vote (WTV) initiative to monitor the election.He said the findings revealed the election was characterized by electoral security challenges and abysmal voter turnout.“As noted in our noon status statement, the FCT Area Council election was riddled with shortcomings and infractions.“This includes the late deployment of election materials, poor distribution of assistance materials for people with disabilities, and unequal allocation of voters to voting units, and malfunctioning of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation system (BVAS).“Yiaga Africa sees these challenges as a setback in the quality of election day administration,” he said.Itodo added: “Yiaga Africa had also forecast low voter turnout in the elections, and this manifested itself in visited units, especially in the Abuja Municipal Area Council Centre.He said Yiaga Africa WTV's findings showed a late deployment of election materials and a delay in the start of voting in most areas.He added that although BVAS was implemented in all voting units, technological flaws in its use were observed.with challenges including misconfiguration and lack of voter accreditation.He added that there were also delays in the technicians' response to BVAS complaints in some voting units, as well as delays in voter authentication within the processing time.“Yiaga Africa observed that in some voting units with more than 1,000 registered voters, INEC deployed only one BVAS, indicating an inconsistency in the guidelines for BVAS deployment,” he said.Itodo said the group noted delays in uploading election results to the INEC platform.of voters as a result of the lack of names on the voter register displayed in the voting units.Itodo said the group also discovered the UN even the distribution of voters to the new voting units and noted an imbalance in the distribution of voters. He said the imbalance created challenges with managing voting units with more than 1,000 registered voters.He said that while some voting units had as many as 2,500 registered voters, others had fewer than 5 voters in the same location.Itodo said Yiaga Africa observers witnessed a vote-buying incident at some voting units and security officials deployed to the voting unit were complicit as people were seen collecting parcels of N1000 bills.He said the group also noted inadequate ballots and the display of incorrect ballots, as some locations indicated that the number of ballots displayed was less than the number of registered voters.He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sanction the Electoral Law Project (Amendment) 2022 without further delay.He urged INEC to carry out an audit of the BVAS and ensure all technical brilliance The problems with the device were resolved before the elections of Ekiti and Osun 2022 out-of-cycle Governor disenfranchisement of voters in subsequent elections, INEC must sync all voter registration information with newly created voting units in its online and offline databases .He called for timely uploading of voting unit results to INEC's online portal to increase public confidence in declared election results and maintain the highest level of transparency in the collection of results.Itodo called on the political parties and the contenders to show maturity and respect for the rules and guidelines established for holding the elections.He congratulated the electorate and the security agencies for the peaceful conduct of the elections and applauded the voters for their resilience and determination to vote in sa despite logistical challenges.The founder of the Albino Foundation, Mr. Jake Epelle, denounced the unavailability of magnifying glasses and braille for PWDs, adding that only one magnifying glass was seen and most of the ad hoc staff did not know what it was for. Epelle said the group also noted that many of the Voting Units were set up and mounted on a dais, making it difficult for blind people and people with disabilities to access accreditation and voting points.he said this went against INEC's guarantees to provide braille, magnifying glasses and make voting units accessible to people with disabilities.He expressed his strong belief that there was still room for improvement in the area of including people with disabilities in the process since the poll was a litmus test for the 2023 general election.
Yiaga Africa on Monday said the results announced thus far National Electoral Commission(INEC) reflected the ballots cast on Nov. 6, 2021 Anambra governorship election.
Executive Director, Yiaga Africa, Samson Itodo, made this known at a news conference on the preliminary statement on the Anambra election.
Itodo said that Yiaga Africa deployed 500 observers and 27 mobile observers to monitor the election adding that INEC had so far released results for 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs),remaining Ihiala LGA that was yet to hold.
He said that Yiaga Africa, through the Watching The Vote citizens movement, deployed the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology to verify the official governorship results as announced by INEC.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the PVT is an advanced election observation methodology that employs well-established statistical principles and sophisticated information technologies in elections.
This is in providing timely and accurate information on the conduct of accreditation, voting and counting, and it independently verifies the official governorship results as announced .
“Yiaga Africa’s PVT can provide independent verification if the results announced thus far reflect the ballots cast.
“The release of these figures speaks only to the accuracy of the tabulation process for votes cast on Nov. 6 2021 and not the overall credibility of the Anambra gubernatorial election.
“As noted, the election is not yet over. Yiaga Africa will continue observing the voting and counting processes as well as the results announcement for Ihiala observers to the sampled polling units of the LGA on Tuesday.’’
According to Itodo, of sampled polling units that opened Saturday, Yiaga Africa received reports from 96 per cent from its field observers.
He said that based on those reports, Yiaga Africa’s statistical analysis showed that for the votes cast ,All Progressives Congress (APC) should receive between 16.6 per cent and 21.1 per cent of the vote.
He said that All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) should receive between 41.0 per cent and 47.6 per cent of the vote while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should receive between 19.2 per cent and 24.2per cent of the votes.
He added that the Young Progressive Party (YPP) should receive between 6.7 per cent and 11.1 per cent of the vote while no other political party should receive more than two per cent of the vote.
“For every one of the 18 political parties contesting the Anambra 2021 gubernatorial election, the INEC official result of the 20 LGAs released is consistent with Yiaga Africa’s WTV estimate specifically, it falls within the Yiaga Africa’s WTV estimated range.
“Had the official results been changed at the ward, LGA or state collation centres, the official results would not have fallen within the Yiaga Africa WTV estimated ranges.
“ Because the official results fall within the estimated ranges, governorship contestants, parties, and voters should have confidence the official results for the 20 LGAs as announced the ballots cast at polling units on Saturday, Nov. 6,’’ he said.
Itodo said that it was important to highlight the counting process at polling units was transparent and included representatives from the four political parties that received the most votes.
He said that at 86 per cent of polling units an APC party agent signed the EC.8A results form, while at 98 per cent of polling units an APGA party agent signed the EC.8A results form.
He added that at 96 per cent of polling units a PDP party agent signed the EC.8A results form, and at 79 per cent of polling units a YPP party agent signed the EC.8A results form.
He said that INEC’s turnout and rejected ballots for the 20 LGA released were also consistent with Yiaga Africa WTV PVT estimates.
Itodo said that Yiaga Africa was able to estimate that turnout was between 10.2 per cent and 12.8 per cent (11.5% ± 1.3% while INEC’s official result was 10.75 per cent.
He said that similarly, Yiaga Africa estimated rejected ballots are between 2.5 per cent and 3.7 per cent (3.1% ± 0.6%) while INEC’s official result was 3.3 per cent.
He urged INEC to work on its logistics to curb further hitches and technological failure at elections as well as distribute voters evenly at polling units.
This, he said, was to decongest the overcrowded ones while adding to other units with scanty voters to balance adding that this was because the newly created polling units had few voters while some units were over crowded .
Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, Board Member ,Yiaga Africa, said that the group noted some observations having monitored the election.
Nwagwu said that in spite of the establishment of Super Registration Area Centers (RACs) close to the polling units to avert logistical hiccups, late deployment of election materials and personnel delayed the opening of polling units.
He said that based on verified reports from Yiaga Africa observers, 21 per cent of polling units failed to open by 12noon adding that this might disenfranchise voters.
He said that the delays were occasioned management and transportation challenges as per INEC’s announcement.
He said that in five per cent of polling units, the BVAS malfunctioned but was not fixed or replaced.
He added that INEC’s framework for adopting new electoral technologies, as the BVAS, though a valuable tool for electoral integrity, fell short of expectations.
Nwagwu said that Yiaga Africa observers reported incidents of intimidation, harassment or violence towards women voters, polling officials, security, party agents or observers at some polling units observed.
He added that Yiaga Africa also noted that in 26 per cent of polling units observed, there were no female polling officials and female presiding officers were sighted in only 38 per cent of polling units.
He said Yiaga Africa implored INEC and security agencies to ensure safety for women voters and for INEC to ensure gender parity in its deployment of officials in electoral processes.
Director of Programmes ,Yiaga Africa ,Cynthia Mbamalu, said that to enhance the transparency of the supplementary election, INEC should publish the total number of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) collected in Ihiala LGA and inform the public on the status of uncollected PVCs.
Mbamalu also said that Yiaga Africa urged INEC to undertake an audit of the BVAS and ensure all the technological glitches with the device were resolved ahead of the supplementary elections to prevent delays and possible disenfranchisement of voters.
She added that INEC needed to sanction all its staff accused of complicity and conspiracy with political actors and security agents to falsify election.
She said that Yiaga Africa urged INEC to terminate its contractual relationship with road transport unions, especially those notorious for breach of contractual obligations.
Mbamalu said that in addition to termination, INEC should seek legal remedies against transporters who were liable for breach of contract.
She urged security agencies to maintain nonpartisan and professional conduct in the Nov 9, 2021 supplementary election and investigate all its personnel involved in misconduct.
She called on the National Assembly to without further delay conclude the amendment to the Electoral Act and transmit the electoral bill to the President for assent.
Yiaga Africa has announced its intention to deploy 500 fixed observers for the Anambra Governorate election on November 6 for effective surveillance.
Samson Itodo, executive director of Yiaga Africa, said this during a pre-election briefing Friday in Awka.
“Yiaga Africa will deploy 500 fixed observers in a representative statistical sample of 248 polling stations and 27 mobile observers in the 21 local government areas (LGAs) of Anambra.
“The Yiaga Africa Watching the TV Vote (WTV) will also deploy 21 snack observers to each of the LGA snack centers,” he said.
Itodo said the voting units selected were set principles to ensure the resulting information was truly representative of the state.
“The sample of PVT voting units was drawn according to well-established statistical principles and is truly representative of all voting units as the percentage of voting units sampled for each LGA is similar to the percentage of all voting units. vote for each LGA.
“During polling day, the Yiaga Africa data center in Anambra will receive 4,500 SMS messages containing approximately 60,500 individual information about the Anambra Governorate election in 2021.
“Once text messages are received at the Yiaga Africa data center, they will be processed and reviewed to ensure the information is complete, authentic and accurate.
“Since Yiaga Africa is based on the official results of a representative random sample of voting units, it will be able to estimate the statewide results for the governor's election within a range narrow based on well-established statistical principles, ”he said.
Itodo said if the results of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were within the estimated range of Yiaga Africa, Nigerians should have confidence that the results reflect the ballot cast at the polling stations.
"If the announced results have been manipulated and do not match the results of the polling stations, Yiaga Africa will expose them," he said.
The Executive Director of Yiaga Africa, Mr Samson Itodo, said in a statement in Abuja that the group would also deploy 646 observers under its “Watching The Vote (WTV) ” project to monitor the election.
According to Itodo, PVT is an election day observation methodology that leverages on statistics and technology to observe the processes of voting, counting and tallying of results.
“Citizen observers are deployed to randomly sample polling units to collect data on the conduct of elections and official polling unit level results.
“With the results assembled from the sampled polling units, a citizen observer group can release projected estimates and verify the accuracy of results declared by the election management body.
Itodo further said that Yiaga Africa would deploy 600 stationary observers in pairs to a representative statistical sample of 300 polling units as well as 28 roving observers.
He added that 18 collation centre observers would be deployed to each of the 18 local government areas of the state.
Itodo said that the deployment strategy would enable Yiaga Africa to provide timely and accurate information on the conduct of accreditation, voting and counting as well as to independently verify official results.
He also said the observers were trained in 47 centres spread across the 18 local government areas in the state.
He added that in ensuring that citizen observers adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines, Yiaga Africa had provided facemasks for all its citizen observers to ensure access to polling units.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Mufutau Ojo)
Yiaga Africa, a civil society organisation, on Sunday revealed that the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC), election result in Edo was consistent with its Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology.
Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, Board member, Yiaga Africa who made this known in a statement, said that the group deployed PVT to assess the credibility of the Sept. 19, Governorship poll in Edo.
Nwagwu said that the group, through its `Watching The Vote (WTV )citizens movement’, had deployed 500 observers to monitor the election.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the WTV is an advanced election observation methodology that employs well-established statistical principles and sophisticated information technology to provide timely and accurate information on conduct of elections.
“Based on reports from 96 per cent (241 of 250) of sampled polling units, Yiaga Africa’s statistical analysis shows that the APC should receive between 39.1 per cent and 46.3 per cent of the votes.
“The PDP should receive between 52.5 per cent and 59.7 per cent of the votes, while no other party will receive more than one per cent of the vote share.
Nwagwu said because the official results fell within the estimated ranges, governorship contestants, parties, and voters should have confidence in INEC’s official results for the election because it reflected the ballots cast at polling units.
He said that it was important to highlight that the counting process at polling units was transparent and included representatives from the two political parties that received the most votes.
He said that Yiaga Africa was able to estimate that turnout was 27.4 per cent with a margin of error of ±2.1 per cent (between 25.3 per cent and 29.5 per cent), while INEC’s official turnout was 25 per cent .
He said that Yiaga Africa estimated rejected ballots were 1.8 per cent with a margin of error of ± 0.6 per cent (between 1.2 per cent and 2.4 per cent) while INEC’s official result for rejected ballots was 2.3 per cent .
According to him, the results are consistent.
Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Donald Ugwu
The group made the observation in a statement issued by the Executive Director, Samson Itodo on Tuesday in Benin.
It said that it was unfortunate that both parties had reduced their campaigns to contest of personalities rather than make the campaigns issue-based to win the people’s votes.
It noted that the analysis was part of Yiaga Africa WTV’s first pre-election observation in the state.
“YIAGA Africa deployed long term observers throughout the state to observe the pre-election environment and monitor government responses to COVID-19 in the 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
“This pre-election observation includes violence monitoring as part of an early warning system designed to prevent electoral violence and track the prevalence of human rights violations, particularly in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The WTV long term observers reported incidences of violent verbal and physical attacks, identity-based violence and hate speech rhetorics as campaign strategies employed by both parties.
“The observers also reported the repositioning of cult groups as political merchandise for the election as well as sexual and gender-based violence in some of the LGAs in the state,” it stated.
According to the group, while INEC activities for the election have begun in earnest, it is conducting very little voter education, especially on the new voter’s code of conduct for elections during COVID-19.
YIAGA Africa explained that findings also revealed that women and youths were actively engaged in the political party campaigns process across the state.
It however, lamented the spate of pre-election violence adding that the two dominant parties in the race were guilty of violent rhetoric, hate speech, vandalism, and violence.
“The state is also witnessing a surge in cult group activities, especially in Ikpoba-Okha, Oredo, Orhionmwon, and Owan West LGAs.
“This is mainly attributable to an entrenched subculture of violence built around well-known strongmen in these areas,” it added. ( NAN)
Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Ejike Obeta (NAN)
Mr Samson Itodo, Executive Director of the organisation, said during a virtual meeting held with journalists in Benin that 24 long term observers and 18 collation observers would also be deployed for the election.
“Watching the Vote (WTV) election project is a comprehensive observation of the electoral process which includes the observation of the political party primaries, pre-election activities and the election day observation.
“WTV aim is to provide timely and accurate information about the election processes to voters and stakeholders.
“This will ensure that citizens’ votes count by deterring fraud and manipulation during the conduct of elections and collation of results, thereby building citizens confidence in the process”.
Itodo also explained that the WTV election project was a movement of citizens committed to credible elections using credible data to counter misinformation while also improving quality of election reporting.
He noted that the recruitment process for governance was subject to credible elections which would lead to accountability adding that, office holders would know that there would be consequence for bad governance.
According to him, having an alternative citizens’ voice to speak on the electoral process is very valuable to the electoral process.
” Engaging the media is strategic to building partnership and collaborations in order to disseminate credible information.
“Yiaga Africa is also engaging the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) policies for the conduct of elections amidst COVID-19 to ensure the election is inclusive and meets the test of integrity.
“The experiences of our observation of previous elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and the 2019 elections will serve as a lesson to improve on the quality of the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo,” he said.
According to him, the organisation will be deploying its long term observers to all local government areas to observe and report pre-election activities of INEC, voter education and government response to COVID-19 in the state.