15th September, 2021
Yiaga Africa, a civil society organisation, on Wednesday in Awka said that it would deploy 548 observers to the Nov. 6 governorship election in Anambra.
Mr Paul James, Election Programme Manager at Yiaga, made the declaration at a programme to train leaders of Civil Society Organisations in Anambra on two schemes – “Watching the Vote’’ (WTV) and “Parallel Vote Tabulation’’ (PVT).
James said Yiaga Africa would use the WTV to observe pre-election activities which would involve the deployment of 25 long-term observers to the 21 local government areas of the state
He said the observers would track and report on the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, activities of INEC, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and those of political parties.
According to him, the observers will also track and report activities of security agencies, the involvement of women, youths, and persons with disabilities, as well as, report early warning signals of electoral violence.
“Yiaga Africa’s WTV will deploy 548 observers to polling units to observe and report on the opening of polling units, accreditation, voting, counting process and posting of results on Election Day.
“We will also have 27 mobile observers who will use their phones to send coded text messages of observation reports to Yiaga’s WTV data centre in Awka.
“For additional oversight, WTV will also deploy 21 observers to monitor result collation process at local government areas collation centres and two observers to the central collation centre.
“WTV aims to provide timely and accurate information about the election processes to voters and to stakeholders,’’ James said.
He added that through its PVT method, Yiaga Africa would leverage on statistics and technology for the observation of the process of voting, counting and tallying of results.
According to him, the PVT allows Yiaga Africa’s WTV to deter and expose fraud, present an accurate and comprehensive assessment of the Election Day processes.
Mr Nonso Orakwe, Anambra Coordinator of “Not too Young to Run’’, a civil society group, said the pre-election engagement was critical to ensuring free, fair and credible elections.
“This engagement has shown us that there is the need for Civil Society Organisations to work together, especially in the area of voter education to ensure high participation in the electoral process,” Orakwe stressed.