Idris Muhammed

2019 Elections: Imperativeness of Voter Education on Vote buying – Idris Muhammed

  Electoral process is the main pillar of democracy just as as the voter is the most important stake holder in the election process. The main aim of electoral process is to ensure free, fair and credible election and to establish the legitimacy and sense of belonging to the elected. As the 2019 general election is fast approaching, voter behavior is paramount looking at the nature of the previous elections especially regarding the scourge of vote buying and selling

In more ways than one, former  chairman of  Independent Electoral Commission, Proffessor Attahiru Jega made effort to sanitize and strengthen the Nigerian electoral system especially with the initiation of the card reader which has reduced election malpractice. With the invention of card reader, the unpatriotic changed their pattern from ballot box snatching, multiple ballot, vote rigging etc to the business of buying the vote the electorates. Sometime the politicians do follow voters to their houses and trade their either permanent voters card or buying their vote with condition of taking an oath that they are going to vote for them on the election day, this is because they found out that some of the voters will collected their money but they ended up voting their own choice. The recent menace of vote buying has been described by Civil Societies as the new form of rigging

Voter education remains one of the most important role of electoral commission in Nigeria as it ensures citizens are provided with basic information about participating in elections. With the unfolding scenario of voter inducement, the responsibility of voter education doesn’t lie with the electoral commission alone. Civil Society Organisations, political parties, National Orientation Agency and citizens alike need to up the ante on voter education against vote buying and selling.

Looking at the recent gubernatorial election in Ekiti state and Osun state, the electorates need to be more informed especially in the aspect of selling their vote. Ekiti State was characterized by multiple cases of voter inducement by the major political parties. Domestics and foreign observers expressed their concern where they accused the politician for inducing voters with money and gifts before and during election. Electorate sadly and unfortunately turned their votes to commodities of trade and boldly struck deals with political party agents willing to pay the highest price in the presence of law enforcement officers.

Though, the Nigerian police force said that they have arrested some of the actors involved in the vote buying but up till this moment none of them have been charged to court in order to be lesson to others. In a nutshell, the activities in Ekiti and other states including the recent election in Osun is worrisome.

The current situation of lack of payment of salary by many state Governors may have been another catalyst to vote selling by electorates. The main remedy to this problems remains voter and civic education with a long term view to widening peoples’ horizons on how their vote is linked to other things that happen in their lives into the future. Once people understand there is strong link between their votes and their future, they may decide to reconsider their stand on exchanging their votes for a token.

The social behavioral communication change designed towards voter education in Nigeria is going in may not have been channeled to the right direction. It’s now left for INEC and other relevant authorities to re-design their strategy to make electorate more inform on their civic right and the implication of selling their mandate to the politicians in exchange of insignificant amount of money.

Civil society organizations must be allowed to report any issue that is capable of disrupting the rules  and regulation of election and electoral process to the election management body.

Idris is a Zonal Program Officer with YIAGA AFRICA

 

Osun election: YIAGA AFRICA Validates INEC Results, Decries Harassment during Supplementary Elections

Having successfully deployed 500 Polling Unit Observers, 31 roving observers and 30 Collation Observers for the Osun Governorship elections, YIAGA Africa’s WatchingTheVote  has validated the official results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) saying, the  announcement on votes cast for the Osun gubernatorial election is overall consistent with its observation.

Speaking during the results announcement Press Conference, Dr Aisha Abdullahi, Co-Chair of YIAGA Africa’s Watching The Vote Osun Election Observation Mission, said this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday.

Abdullahi said the group’s Watching The Vote (WTV) project was an initiative to monitor the credibility of elections across the country, using its Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) Method.

She said that the PVT produced an estimated range based on the untainted polling unit results collected from a representative statistical sample of polling units.

She said this range was calculated, using long-established statistical formula.

“However, because the PVT is based on the untainted results from polling units, the official results must fall within the PVT’s estimated range for them to reflect the ballots cast at polling unit.

“Thus, if the official results fall within the PVT’s estimated ranges, then the official results accurately reflect the ballots cast at polling units but if the official results fall outside the PVT’s estimated ranges, then the official results were changed. ”

 

Abdullahi said that YIAGA Africa deployed 500 stationary observers in pairs to a representative statistical sample of 250 polling units and 31 mobile observers located in all 30 LGAs of Osun.

“The WTV Result statement is based on reports from 247 of 250 which is 99 per cent sampled polling units.

“YIAGA AFRICA had noted in its pre-election statement that the Osun Governorship election would be keenly contested and largely determined by swing LGAs and a small margin in the difference of votes between the top contesting parties.

“Our preliminary estimates indicated that turnout for the Osun gubernatorial election will be between 45.0 and 47.8 per cent based on official turnout figures collected from the statistical sample of polling units across the 30 LGAs in the state.

“As such YIAGA Africa can verify that INEC’s official turnout of 45.7 per cent falls within WTV’s estimated range and accurately reflects the turnout of voters.”

Abdullahi said that at dawn on, Sept. 23, YIAGA Africa WTV findings had also indicated that no party or candidate would receive more than 37.4 per cent of the vote share.

She said that based on the total votes announced so far by INEC, YIAGA Africa’s statistical analysis considering the margin of errors showed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) should receive between 33.6% and 37.4 per cent of the vote.

She said that the Action Democratic Party (ADP) should receive between 5.7 per cent and 8.9 per cent of the vote.

She added that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should receive between 32.5 per cent and 36.9 per cent of the vote while the Social Democratic Party (SDP) should receive between 15.1 and 19.7 per cen of the vote.

Abdullahi said that the rejected ballots fell outside YIAGA AFRICA’s range of 4.1 per cent to 5.3 per cent but given the rerun to be held at cancelled polling units and the closeness of the election, it likely did not affect the overall outcome.

“It is important to highlight the counting process at polling units was transparent and included representatives from the political parties that received the most votes.

“At 98 per cent of polling units, the polling officials showed how every ballot paper was marked to everyone present.”

Abdullahi said that during counting, in 96 per cent of polling units, there were no recorded incidents of intimidation, harassment against the polling officials.

She said that by 4:00 p.m., counting of gubernatorial ballot papers had finished in 78 per cent of polling units and at 99 per cent of polling units APC, PDP and party agents countersigned the result forms.

On average, 12 polling agents were present at the observed LGA Collation Centres during the collation process and they countersigned the results.

 

She said that in all 30 collation centres, no party agents disagreed with the results declared.

Abdulahi said that YIAGA Africa WTV for the Osun election focused on providing information on the election day process to build citizens confidence and to verify the accuracy of the official results.

She said that the importance of the result statement was hinged on the need to ensure that the official results for the Osun gubernatorial election truly reflected the ballots cast at polling units.

She said that YIAGA Africa was committed to confirming the official results if they reflected the ballots cast at polling units and exposing manipulation if the results were changed during the collation process.

However, after deploying 13 stationary observers for the Osun supplementary Governorship election, YIAGA AFRICA WTV reported that, political thugs prevented its observers from monitoring the election in certain polling units and that the observers could only gain access to such units when foreign observers arrived with a security contingent and that the domestic observers were still prevented from witnessing the counting and posting of results in certain location.

YIAGA said political thugs also deprived media practitioners from accessing and using mobile phones at the polling unit until the afternoon when the issues were resolved.

According to WTV observation findings, “In PU 002, Alapata Village, Oyere – II Ward 10, APC party agents were seen distributing cash and food to prospective voters within the vicinity of the polling unit.”

“In PU 004 Idi Iya, Olofun Orolu Ward 8, APC agents distributed cash to voters and security agents in a location not more than 100 feet from the polling units.

“YIAGA Africa Watching The Vote calls on the voters of Osun to remain calm and be peaceful as INEC works to collate and announce the results.

“YIAGA Africa also urges INEC to carry out timely investigations into the critical incidents at Ward 8, Kajola Village, PU 001 Orolu LGA that may have undermined the credibility of the polls in this location.

“YIAGA Africa calls on INEC to make public the data from the E-Collation and E-Transmission of results from the polling units at the polling unit level and in a timely manner.

“YIAGA Africa urges contesting political parties to call on their supporters to remain calm and where parties may feel aggrieved with the outcome of the election, such party should seek legal redress through the official channels.

“YIAGA calls on the security agents to remain alert, vigilant and neutral during this period and to apprehend and prosecute perpetrators of electoral violence especially those who prevented voters, observers and media practitioners from accessing some of the polling units.

“YIAGA calls on the media to promote credible and objective reportage of the supplementary elections.

“YIAGA Africa commends the people of Osun for maintaining the peace in the State throughout the period of the election.

 

“YIAGA would like to thank the people of Osun who volunteered to serve as non-partisan election observers on behalf of all the people of Osun,” the statement read

Not Too Young To Run Movement kicks against automatic tickets, calls for free and fair party primaries

In the days ahead, political parties will conduct primaries to field candidates for the 2019 general elections. Whilst some of the parties have published timetables for the conduct of their primaries, others are yet to make their timetable public. The movement notes with concern, actions by some political parties to impose candidates through the issuance of automatic tickets or ‘consensus’ candidacy. This is in addition to the high cost of forms imposed by some of the political parties.

This development has become a major threat to the participation of youth, women and persons with disability. The imposition of candidates and issuance of automatic tickets reflect a lack of respect for democratic principles and norms, and its reduces the competitiveness of electoral politics. As party primaries begin, the Not Too Young To Run Movement recommends as follows;

1. Parties should uphold the principles of transparency and accountability in the conduct of primary elections.
2. Parties must provide credible list of delegates and ensure party members are accessible to aspirants, observers and the media.
3. The venue of the primary elections must be made public to all aspirants and other stakeholders.
4. Late hour changes to delegate list and venue of party primaries should be avoided. Changes should be made only after due consultations with stakeholders especially aspirants and their agents.
5. Parties should provide leadership and demonstrate commitment to discourage vote buying as well as enforcing spending limits for campaigns and sanctioning members who use money or gift items to compromise delegates.

The Movement urges all political parties to remain accountable to the commitments made to uphold democratic primaries and reiterates that any form of imposition or irregularities in the primaries would attract political consequences. Any party that discards the youth, does so at its own peril

Signed
Not Too Young To Run Movement

Osun Rerun: Statement on Results Announcement 2018 Osun Gubernatorial Election

Introduction

On 23 September 2018 the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the September 22 Osun Governorship Election as inconclusive. On Thursday 27 September 2018, rerun elections took place in seven polling units where INEC had cancelled the election.  YIAGA AFRICA Watching the Vote (WTV) deployed 13 stationary observers to all seven polling units in the four local government areas (LGAs) where the supplementary elections held.

This observation effort complemented YIAGA AFRICA’s Election Day deployment, during which YIAGA AFRICA WTV deployed 500 stationary observers in pairs to a representative statistical sample of 250 polling units and 31 mobile observers located in all 30 LGAs of Osun State. WTV also deployed 30 stationary observers to each of the 30 LGA result collation centres. WTV employed the parallel vote tabulation (PVT) methodology on Election Day which enabled YIAGA AFRICA to provide timely and accurate information on the conduct of accreditation, voting, and counting as well as to independently verify the official results and turnout for the Osun gubernatorial election as announced by INEC. YIAGA AFRICA Watching the Vote, Nigeria’s largest election observation mission is “Driven by Data – For All Nigerians – Beholden to None!”

In its statement on the results announcement, issued September 23, 2018, YIAGA AFRICA noted that voter turnout and the vote shares for all parties and candidates receiving more than 0.2% of the vote and as announced by INEC were consistent with the estimated ranges produced by YIAGA’s parallel vote tabulation. Rejected ballots (invalid votes), however, fell outside YIAGA’s estimated range of 4.1% to 5.3%. These findings were based on reports from 247 of 250 or 99% of sampled polling units. In a Preliminary Statement on the Supplementary Elections in Osun State, YIAGA AFRICA raised concerns about verified acts of violence and intimidation in Ward 8, Kajola Village, PU 001 Orolu LGA, including attacks on People’s Democratic Party (PDP) supporters, intimidation of media and preventing accredited WTV citizen observers from witnessing the counting and posting of results in this polling unit.

These attacks were carried out by political thugs sympathetic to the All Progressives Congress (APC). YIAGA AFRICA also noted verified incidents of vote buying carried out by APC representatives within close proximity of the polling units in Ward 1, Alapata Village, PU 002, Oyere LGA and Ward 8, Idi Iya, Orolu LGA.

YIAGA AFRICA Watching the Vote is committed to promoting electoral integrity. Based on the observation of the rerun election, Watching The Vote expresses grave concerns about the witnessed acts of violence and intimidation, some of which occurred in the full view of security agents. These incidents have a potential impact on the integrity of the rerun elections. Watching The Vote further notes that the critical incidents – especially the violence and intimidation in Ward 8, Kajola Village, PU 001 Orolu LGA impeded YIAGA AFRICA WTV’s observation effort on September 27 – and hence also impeded its ability to verify the outcome of the rerun election.

Recommendations

  1. YIAGA AFRICA calls upon all parties, all candidates and the good people of Osun State to show political maturity and maintain peace in the post-election period.
  2. YIAGA AFRICA urges all parties to adhere to legal provisions for filing electoral claims and disputes. Should such claims be filed, Watching The Vote calls upon the Governorship Election Tribunals to adjudicate claims in a timely manner and to make the outcomes available to the public.
  3. YIAGA AFRICA calls on the security forces to undertake an in-depth review of the conduct of agents deployed during the September 27 polls and to sanction any officer guilty of negligence, complicity and violation of human rights
  4. YIAGA AFRICA notes continued concerns about blatant vote buying within proximity of the polling units and calls on INEC and the deployed security agents to devise and publicize clear guidelines for apprehending and sanctioning any individuals caught engaging in such behaviour during elections.
  5. YIAGA AFRICA encourages INEC to make public the data from the E-Collation and E-Transmission of results and to publicize polling unit level results online in a timely manner to further enhance public confidence in the officially announced results.

 Conclusion

YIAGA AFRICA commends INEC on the timely opening of polls with essential materials present as well as the timely announcement of results. YIAGA AFRICA furthermore commends the people of Osun State for their peaceful conduct throughout the period of the closely contested governorship election, which is a testament to the growing strength of Nigerian democracy.  YIAGA calls on the people of Osun to remain peaceful, vigilant and active in holding the government accountable. The beauty of democracy is that elected officials represent the totality of the people and not a section of the people or a political party as such the people have the power to make demands on their government.

YIAGA AFRICA, through  #WatchingTheVote, remains committed to promoting credible elections by providing independent information on the conduct of elections and independently verifying the accuracy of election results. #WatchingTheVote is For All Nigerians, Beholden to No One, and Driven By Data. YIAGA AFRICA will continue to observe the post-election period, including monitoring the adjudication of any eventual electoral claims or disputes.

Long live Osun state, long live Nigeria.

Dr. Aisha L. Abdullahi Co-Chair, Watching The Vote Osun Election Observation Mission

Ezenwa Nwagwu Co-Chair, Watching The Vote Osun Election Observation Mission

  For media inquiries please contact:

Moshood Isah

Communication Officer

YIAGA AFRICA

Tel. +234 (0) 703 666 9339 Email: [email protected]

Learn more about #WatchingTheVote at www.watchingthevote.org or on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/yiaga.org or on Twitter @YIAGA.

 

Osun rerun: YIAGA Africa indicts APC in election reports

The Nigerian citizens-led election observation group, #WatchingTheVote has released a damning report on the rerun gubernatorial election in Osun state and indicted the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The reports of the observations of YIAGA Africa was signed Dr. Aisha Abdullahi, Co-Chair, Watching The Vote Osun Election Observation Mission and Ezenwa Nwagwu, Co-Chair, Watching The Vote Osun Election Observation Mission

The YIAGA ‘Watching the Vote’ deployed 13 stationary observers to the 7 polling units in the Local Government Areas where supplementary election is being conducted.

In its report, YIAGA said “APC agents and party representatives identified supporters of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to political thugs who attacked and beat the PDP supporters and blocked them from accessing the Polling Unit.”

YIAGA also said that political thugs prevented its observers from monitoring the election in certain polling units and that the observers could only gain access to such units when foreign observers arrived with a security contingent and that the domestic observers were still prevented from witnessing the counting and posting of results in certain location.

YIAGA said political thugs also deprived media practitioners from accessing and using mobile phones at the polling unit until the afternoon when the issues were resolved.

According to YIAGA, “In PU 002, Alapata Village, Oyere – II Ward 10, APC party agents were seen distributing cash and food to prospective voters within the vicinity of the polling unit.”

“In PU 004 Idi Iya, Olofun Orolu Ward 8, APC agents distributed cash to voters and security agents in a location not more than 100 feet from the polling units.

“YIAGA Africa Watching The Vote calls on the voters of Osun to remain calm and be peaceful as INEC works to collate and announce the results.

“YIAGA Africa also urges INEC to carry out timely investigations into the critical incidents at Ward 8, Kajola Village, PU 001 Orolu LGA that may have undermined the credibility of the polls in this location.

“YIAGA Africa calls on INEC to make public the data from the E-Collation and E-Transmission of results from the polling units at the polling unit level and in a timely manner.

“YIAGA Africa urges contesting political parties to call on their supporters to remain calm and where parties may feel aggrieved with the outcome of the election, such party should seek legal redress through the official channels.

“YIAGA calls on the security agents to remain alert, vigilant and neutral during this period and to apprehend and prosecute perpetrators of electoral violence especially those who prevented voters, observers and media practitioners from accessing some of the polling units.

“YIAGA calls on the media to promote credible and objective reportage of the supplementary elections.

“YIAGA Africa commends the people of Osun for maintaining the peace in the State throughout the period of the election.

“YIAGA would like to thank the people of Osun who volunteered to serve as non-partisan election observers on behalf of all the people of Osun,” the statement read

Source: Daily Trust

YIAGA AFRICA WATCHINGTHEVOTE PRELIMINARY STATEMENT ON 2018 OSUN GOVERNORSHIP SUPPLEMENTARY ELECTION

 Introduction

Following INEC’s declaration of 2018 Osun Governorship Election as inconclusive, the commission conducted rerun elections on Thursday 27 September 2018 in 7 polling units where election was cancelled on Saturday 22 September 2018. YIAGA AFRICA Watching the Vote deployed 13 stationary observers to all 7 polling units in the 4 LGAs where the supplementary election held. By 7:30 am, all thirteen (13) Watching The Vote observers deployed to the seven (7) polling units were present and ready to observe.

This preliminary report highlights Watching The Vote findings on the: arrival of polling officials and election materials at the polling unit, set-up of polling units, voting and accreditation, presence of security and party agents and also, critical incidents observed. The is the first report on the process of the re-run election.

Watching The Vote Preliminary Findings:

Opening and Setup of Polling Units

  1. As at 8:00 am, Watching The Vote observers reported that INEC officials had arrived at all 7 polling units.
  2. By 9:00 am accreditation and voting commenced in all 7 polling units observed.
  3. On the average, polling units had 4 polling officials present.
  4. Card readers were observed in all the 7 of polling units. All essential materials (register of voters, indelible ink-marker pen, polling official stamp, voting cubicle, ink pad, Form EC.8A Statement of Results and Form EC.40H Voter Information) were present in all the 7 polling units as well.
  5. APC party agents were seen in all the 7 polling units, PDP at 4 polling units, and SDP at 3 of polling units at set-up. An average of 5 party agents were seen at the polling units at set-up.

Accreditation and Voting

  1. The card reader was used throughout the day in all 7 polling units. In PU 002, Alapata Village, Ward 10 Oyere II, in Ife North LGA, the card malfunction but it was replaced.
  2. In all 7 polling units every potential voter’s Permanent Voter Card (PVC) and finger print was checked by the card reader.
  3. In all 7 polling units every potential voter’s PVC was checked against the register of voters. No one was accredited to vote who did not have a PVC in all the 7 polling units.
  4. 6 of the 7 polling units were set up to ensure so that no one could see how voters marked their ballot papers. However, in PU 004 Idi Iya Village, Ward 8 Olofun Orolu H, Orolu LGA, it was possible to see how a voter ballot paper was marked when it was put in the ballot box.
  5. In all 7 polling units, indelible ink was applied to the cuticle of a finger of every accredited voter.
  6. During accreditation and voting, no polling unit had voters crowding the polling officials.
  7. In 2 polling units, accreditation and voting ended by the designated time of 2:00pm, in 4 polling units accreditation and voting ended between 2:00pm and 3:00pm and in 1 polling unit accreditation and voting ended between 3:00pm and 4:00pm.

 Counting, Signing and Posting of Results

Watching The Vote observers were only allowed to observe the counting process in 6 of the 7 polling units. The party agents of the All Progressive Congress (APC) did not allow WTV observers observe the process of counting in PU 001 Kajola Village, Ward 8, Olofun Orolu H in Orolu LGA.

  1. An average of 6 party agents were observed in the polling units during counting.
  2. In the 6 polling units where the WTV observers observed counting and posting of results, polling officials showed how every ballot paper was marked to everyone present.
  3. In the 6 polling units observed, an APC polling agent signed the official results form (EC.8A).
  4. In 4 of the 6 polling units observed, a PDP polling agent signed the official results form (EC.8A). PDP agents were not present in the remaining two polling units.
  5. In 4 of the 6 polling units observed, an SDP polling agent signed the official results form (EC.8A). SDP agents were not present in the remaining two polling units.
  6. No party agent asked for recount of the ballot papers in any of the 6 polling units observed.
  7. Official results were posted using the form EC60E for the public to see in all the 6 polling units observed.

Critical Incidents

Watching The Vote observers reported critical incidents that undermine integrity of the rerun election. These verified incidents include;

  1. Violence, Harassment and Intimidation in Ward 8, Kajola Village, PU 001 Orolu LGA:                                                   a. The agents and representatives of the All Progressive Congress (APC) worked with political thugs to attack and beat up supporters of People’s Democratic Party (PDP). They also blocked PDP supporters and voters from accessing the polling unit.    b. Political thugs also prevented WTV observers from observing the election. The observers could only gain access to polling unit when foreign observers arrived with a security contingent. At the close of polls, observers were prevented from witnessing counting and the posting of results in this location.                                                                                                                                            c. Political thugs also deprived media practitioners from accessing and using of phones at the polling unit. This was however resolved by noon.
  2. Vote Buying:                                                                                                                                                                                               a. In PU 002, Alapata Village, Oyere – II Ward 10, APC party agents were seen distributing cash and food to prospective voters within the vicinity of the polling unit.                                                                                                                                   b. In PU 004 Idi Iya, Olofun Orolu Ward 8, APC party agents distributed cash to voters and security agents in a location not more than 100 yards from the polling units.

Concerns and recommendations

  1. YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote expresses concerns with the security agencies deployed for the elections. Intimidation of voters and observers happened in the full glare of security officials who remained aloof while political thugs undertook untoward their mission. This raises questions on the integrity and neutrality of the security officials in the rerun elections.
  2. YIAGA AFRICA calls on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure timely release of election results. We emphasize the need for INEC to uphold the principles of integrity and transparency in the collation and announcement of the results. INEC should investigate the critical incident highlighted in this statement as those incidents may have undermined the credibility of the elections.
  3. YIAGA AFRICA calls on INEC to make public the data from the E-Collation and E-Transmission of results from the polling units at the polling unit level and in a timely manner.
  4. YIAGA AFRICA urges contesting political parties to call on their supporters to remain calm and where parties may feel aggrieved with the outcome of the election, such party should seek legal redress through the official channels.
  5. YIAGA calls on the Security Agents to remain alert, vigilant and neutral during this period and to apprehend and prosecute perpetrators of electoral violence especially those who prevented voters, observers and media practitioners from accessing some of the polling units.

Watching The Vote is observing the results collation process and would issue another statement on the results once INEC announces its official results.

Long live Osun state, long live Nigeria.

Dr. Aisha .L. Abdullahi

Co-Chair, Watching The Vote Osun Election Observation Mission

 

Ezenwa Nwagwu

Co-Chair, Watching The Vote Osun Election Observation Mission

 

For media inquiries please contact:

Moshood Isah

Communication Officer

YIAGA AFRICA

Tel. +234 (0) 703 666 9339

Email: [email protected]

Learn more about #WatchingTheVote at www.watchingthevote.org or on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/yiaga.org or on Twitter @YIAGA.

 

YIAGA AFRICA HOSTS YOUNG ASPIRANTS IN SOUTHWEST

#ReadyToRun: YIAGA AFRICA Hosts Round Table with Young Aspirants in Ibadan

The #NotTooYoungRun Act has abolished the constitutional impediment to the political participation of young people in the electoral process.  However, how does it transcend into an actual increase in the qualitative and quantitative representation of the teeming youth population in Nigeria?

To address this, YIAGA Africa launched the Ready to Run movement which is dedicated to inspiring young men, women and people living with disabilities to run for office by providing technical support to address the challenges that are likely to undermine their emergence as candidates and eventual winners of elections.

On the 19th of September, YIAGA Africa in partnership with American Corner Ibadan,  with support from the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria Project(EU-SDGN) organized the Ready To Run Southwest Young Aspirants Dialogue to provide a platform for youth engagement where young aspirants regardless of political affiliations  present their personal profiles and manifesto to the public as citizens who indeed have the right credentials and proven track record to run for office.

Speaking at the roundtable, a sitting lawmaker, Hon. Saheed Fijabi stressed the need for young aspirants to promote issue-based campaigns in order to strengthen accountability. The dominant concern raised by the aspirants includes the high cost of nomination forms of some political parties, lack of internal party democracy, the correlation between expectations of the electorate, constitutional responsibilities and economic realities,  godfatherism and importantly, the monetisation of the electoral process.

The program gave an insightful perspective on the preparedness of young people to run for elective offices. The 19 Aspirants signed a pledge to uphold the tenets of democracy and commit to the development of Nigeria when/if they assume office.

 

 

Statement on Results Announcement 2018 Osun Gubernatorial Election

Protocols

Introduction

Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives us great pleasure to welcome you to the YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote (WTV) press briefing on the WTV statement on result announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the 2018 Osun Governorship Election. The WTV Result statement is based on results from the polling units as reported from the WTV sampled polling units in each of the 30 Local Government Areas (LGAs).

For the Election Day Deployment, YIAGA AFRICA WTV deployed 500 stationary observers in pairs to a representative statistical sample of 250 polling units and 31 mobile observers located in all 30 LGAs of Osun state. WTV also deployed 30 stationary observers to each of the 30 LGA result collation centres. WTV employed the parallel vote tabulation (PVT) methodology on Election Day which enabled YIAGA AFRICA to provide timely and accurate information on the conduct of accreditation, voting, and counting as well as to independently verify the official results and provide turnout for the Osun gubernatorial election as announced by INEC. YIAGA AFRICA Watching the Vote, Nigeria’s largest election observation mission is “Driven by Data – For All Nigerians – Beholden to None!”

This result statement is based on reports from 247 of 250 (99%) sampled polling units.

YIAGA AFRICA had noted in its pre-election statement that the Osun Governorship election will be keenly contested and largely determined by swing LGAs and a small margin in the difference of votes between the top contesting parties. Yesterday, the people of Osun State peacefully went to the polls to elect a governor that will lead the state for the next four years.

Turnout and Result Projection

YIAGA AFRICA’s preliminary estimates indicated that turnout for the Osun gubernatorial election will be between 45.0% and 47.8% based on official turnout figures collected from the PVT’s representative statistical sample of polling units across the 30 LGAs in the state.

As such YIAGA can verify that INEC’s official turnout of 45.6% falls within WTV’s estimated range and accurately reflects the turnout of voters.

At dawn today, 23 September, YIAGA AFRICA WTV findings had also indicated that no party/candidate will receive more than 37.4% of the vote share.

YIAGA AFRICA Watching the vote for the Osun Governorship Election focused on providing information on the election day process to build citizens confidence and to verify the accuracy of the official results. The importance of the result statement is hinged on the need to ensure that the official results for the Osun gubernatorial election truly reflect the ballots cast at polling units.

#WatchingTheVote Election Day Observation

The YIAGA AFRICA WTV sample includes polling units in every one of the 30 LGAs in Osun. The number of sampled polling units in each LGA is based on the percentage of polling units and registered voters in the LGA. (See Appendix 2)

All observers were carefully recruited according to established criteria to ensure that they are independent and non-partisan. All observers had to attend a thorough training on how to observe the process and send in observation reports via coded text messages using their mobile phones. All observers had to sign a pledge of neutrality and were given a code of conduct to which they must adhere when observing. Finally, all observers had to participate in two simulation exercises before election day to demonstrate that they were fully prepared to observe.

YIAGA AFRICA’s WTV observers witnessed the entire process on Election Day and by 7:30am, 95% of the WTV observers were ready to observe at their assigned polling units. Every stationary observer sent in coded text messages containing their reports to YIAGA AFRICA’s data centre located here in Osogbo. Throughout the day they sent in a total of eleven text messages on the conduct of the election – including sending the official results for their assigned polling units as announced by the INEC officials. The figures they reported were the untainted official results for the polling unit as announced by the polling officials.

For turnout and the vote for each candidate/political party, the PVT produces an estimated range based on the untainted polling unit results collected from a representative statistical sample of polling units. This range is calculated using long established statistical formula. However, because the PVT is based on the untainted results from polling units, the official results must fall within the PVT’s estimated range for them to reflect the ballots cast at polling unit. Thus, if the official results fall within the PVT’s estimated ranges, then the official results accurately reflect the ballots cast at polling units. However, if the official results fall outside the PVT’s estimated ranges, then the official results were changed. YIAGA AFRICA is committed to confirming the official results if they reflect the ballots cast at polling units and exposing manipulation if the results are changed during the collation process.

Statement on the Results

Based on the total votes announced so far by INEC, YIAGA AFRICA’s statistical analysis (considering the margin of errors) shows that the All Progressives Congress (APC) should receive between 33.6% and 37.4% of the vote. The Action Democratic Party (ADP) should receive between 5.7% and 8.9% of the vote. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) should receive between 32.5% and 36.9% of the vote.  The Social Democratic Party (SDP) should receive between 15.1% and 19.7% of the vote.

Rejected ballots fell outside YIAGA AFRICA’s range of 4.1% to 5.3% but – given the rerun to be held at cancelled polling units and the closeness of the election – likely does not affect the overall outcome.

While the INEC initial official announcement on the votes cast for the 2018 Osun state gubernatorial election is overall consistent with the YIAGA AFRICA WTV estimated range it is important to note that the election is not over and outcomes yet to be concluded.

Accordingly, YIAGA AFRICA will continue with her observation of the process until a winner is declared and will issue a final result verification statement once INEC announces the official result for the Governorship election.

Counting, Signing and Posting of Results at Polling Units

It is important to highlight the counting process at polling units was transparent and included representatives from the political parties that received the most votes.

  • At 98% of polling units the polling officials showed how every ballot paper was marked to everyone present.
  • At 96% of polling units the polling officials sorted the ballot papers into piles by political party and rejected ballots.
  • On average 8 party agents were present in the polling units during counting.
  • At 11% of polling units the ballot papers were counted more than once.
    • In 6% of polling units an APC party agent requested a recount
    • In 5% of polling units a PDP party agent requested a recount
    • In 3% of polling units an SDP party agent requested a recount
    • In 2% of polling units an agent from any other political party than APC, PDP or SDP requested a recount
  • During counting, in 96% of polling units there were no recorded incidents of intimidation, harassment against the polling officials.
  • By 4:00 pm, counting of gubernatorial ballot papers had finished in 78% of polling units
  • At 99% of polling units APC party agents countersigned the form EC.8A
  • At 99% of polling units PDP party agents countersigned the form EC.8A
  • At 97% of polling units SDP party agents countersigned the form EC.8A
  • A party agent other than APC, PDP or SDP countersigned the form EC.8A in 92% of polling units
  • APC party agents received a copy of Form EC.8A in 99% of polling units
  • PDP party agents received a copy of Form EC.8A in 98% of polling units.
  • SDP party agents received a copy of Form EC.8A in 96% of polling units.
  • In 94% of polling units, the results were posted for the public to see.
  • Presiding officers in 79% of polling units reported when observers asked that they used the smart card reader to transmit the polling unit results electronically. 75% of the presiding officers reported that the transmission was successful.

Collation

YIAGA AFRICA deployed 30 observers to each of the LGA Collation Centres at the end of voting on the evening of September 22. Reports are based on findings from 30 observers; however collation was disrupted at Ife East LGA and only commenced during the early hours of the morning on 23 September.

  • On average, 12 polling agents were present at the observed LGA Collation Centres during the collation process.
  • Form EC.8B from each ward was submitted to the collation officer in all 30 Collation Centres.
  • The Electronic Collation Support Secretariat was used to crosscheck results for computational accuracy in 28 of the collation centres.
  • An APC party agent countersigned the results form in all 30 LGA Collation Centres observed.
  • A PDP party agent countersigned the results form in all 30 of the collation centres.
  • An SDP party agent countersigned the results form in 28 of the collation centres.
  • Party agents other than APC, PDP or SDP signed the results form in 29 of the collation centres.
  • In all 30 collation centres, no party agents disagreed with the results declared.

Critical Incidents

Watching the vote observed some critical incidents and after verifying its authenticity notes:

  • YIAGA AFRICA recorded two incidents of harassment and intimidation of observers. WTV Observers were harassed, beaten and detained by political thugs in Polling Unit 006, Apepe Village, Ward 5 in Atakumosa West LGA and were released by 3pm. While party agents in Polling Unit 002, Gbalade PU, Oke Amala Ward in Ifelodun LGA refused to allow observers observe although this was later addressed by the Divisional Police Officer for Ifelodun LGA
  • In three polling units observed by WTV, ballots/ballot boxes were snatched or stuffed during accreditation and voting, specifically in Iseki Oloti Polling Unit 001 in Ede North, Otagere Village Polling Unit 005 in Ede South LGA, and Ward 8, Polling Unit 001 in Orolu LGA
  • WTV observed vote buying in four locations, specifically Ward 3 Polling Unit 005 Molete, Iwo LGA, Oore Community PU Code 006 in Boripe LGA, L.A. School Adereto Polling Unit 004 in Ife South, and Ilasa Town Hall Polling Unit 002 in Obokun LGA.

Preliminary Recommendations

  1. YIAGA AFRICA commends the people of Osun for the largely peaceful conduct of the election and further calls on the political parties and their supporters to maintain the peace as INEC concludes on the plan for the re-run election in the cancelled polling units
  2. YIAGA AFRICA calls on INEC to ensure that the electoral guidelines for the conduct of elections are strictly adhered to during the re-run election in the cancelled polling units
  3. YIAGA AFRICA encourages INEC to make public the data from the E-Collation and E-Transmission of results from the polling units.
  4. The incidence of vote buying and voter inducement during elections undermines political legitimacy and makes a mockery of our democracy. This growing trend needs to be abated ahead of subsequent elections. While YIAGA AFRICA commends INEC for the ban of phones and cameras at the voting booth, YIAGA AFRICA calls on INEC to ensure strict compliance in the set-up configuration at the polling units and proper training of the ad hoc officials on the electoral laws regulating voting.
  5. While YIAGA AFRICA commends the security for their efforts to apprehend persons involved in vote buying, there is a greater need for the security agencies to devise new strategies for detecting and apprehending individuals or groups involved in vote buying and selling during elections.
  6. Stakeholders like INEC, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and civil society should engage in robust advocacy against vote buying. Political parties and candidates should be encouraged to promote issued-based election campaigns.
  7. YIAGA AFRICA recommend increased voter education on the voting process as it relates to thumb printing and folding of ballot papers considering the figure on rejected ballots was high compared to the 2014 Osun election.
  8. Security of polling in remote communities should be enhanced to protect poll officials and accredited observers.

Conclusion

YIAGA AFRICA commends INEC on the timely opening of polls with essential materials present as well as the timely announcement of results.

YIAGA AFRICA commends the people of Osun state for their peaceful conduct during the process of voting and counting and for their patience with INEC to declare the official results for the Election. The Election which was keenly contested as observed from difference in the votes so far indicates an active and competitive political party configuration in Osun State and has huge potential to ensure that the winning party work for the people and deliver on their promises. The beauty of democracy remains that our elected officials are accountable to all citizens irrespective of party affiliations or which party is in government.

YIAGA AFRICA thanks the many Nigerians across the state who volunteered to serve as non-partisan election observers on behalf of all the people of Osun. YIAGA AFRICA commends the dedication of the permanent INEC staff in Abuja and Osun state who organized the election; the commitment of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members who served as poll officials, and the professionalism of the security agents who worked to keep the peace on Election Day. YIAGA AFRICA also appreciates the collaboration of our development partners and their commitment to Nigerian initiatives to ensure credible elections in our country.

YIAGA AFRICA, through the #WatchingTheVote initiative, is committed to promoting credible elections by providing independent information on the conduct of elections and independently verifying the accuracy of election results. #WatchingTheVote is For All Nigerians, Beholden to No One, and Driven By Data.

Long live Osun state, long live Nigeria.

Thank you.

Dr. Aisha L. Abdullahi

Co-Chair, Watching The Vote Osun Election Observation Mission

 

Ezenwa Nwagwu

Co-Chair, Watching The Vote Osun Election Observation Mission

 

For media inquiries please contact:

Moshood Isah

Communication Officer

YIAGA AFRICA

Tel. +234 (0) 703 666 9339

Email: [email protected]

 

Learn more about #WatchingTheVote at www.watchingthevote.org or on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/yiaga.org or on Twitter @YIAGA.

 

Appendix I

The below table is a comparison of INEC official results with the YIAGA AFRICA WTV estimates for all 48 political parties contesting the Osun 2018 gubernatorial election.

Appendix II:      Comparison of INEC Official Results with YIAGA AFRICA WTV Estimates for All Political Parties – Osun 2018 Gubernatorial Election
Party INEC

Official Result

YIAGA AFRICA WTV

ESTIMATED RANGES

Match
Lower Limit Upper Limit Margin of Error
A 0.1% 0.0% 1.0% +/-0.6% ü
AA 0.0% 0.0% 0.5% +/-0.4% ü
ABP 0.1% 0.0% 0.2% +/-0.1% ü
ACD 0.1% 0.2% 0.2% +/-0.0% ü
ACPN 0.1% 0.0% 0.2% +/-0.1% ü
AD 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% +/-0.0% ü
ADC 1.1% 0.8% 1.4% +/-0.3% ü
ADP 6.9% 5.7% 8.9% +/-1.6% ü
AGA 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% +/-0.0% ü
AGAP 0.0% 0.1% 0.1% +/-0.0%
ANRP 0.1% 0.1% 0.2% +/-0.0% ü
APA 0.3% 0.2% 0.3% +/-0.1% ü
APC 35.3% 33.6% 37.4% +/-1.9% ü
APGA 0.1% 0.1% 0.4% +/-0.3% ü
APP 0.2% 0.2% 0.6% +/-0.2% ü
BNPP 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% +/-0.1% ü
C4C 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% +/-0.0% ü
DA 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% +/-0.0% ü
DPC 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% +/-0.0%
DPP 0.0%* 0.0% 0.0% +/-0.0% ü
FJP 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% +/-0.0%
GDPN 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% +/-0.0% ü
 

 

Party INEC

Official Result

YIAGA AFRICA WTV ESTIMATED RANGES Match
Lower Limit Upper Limit Margin of Error
GPN 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% ü
HDP 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% ü
KP 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% ü
LP 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% ü
MMN 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% ü
MPN 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% ü
NCP 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
NPC 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% ü
NEPP 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% ü
NNPP 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% ü
PANDEL 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% ü
PDC 0.3% 0.2% 0.4% 0.1% ü
PDP 35.4% 32.5% 36.9% 2.3% ü
PPA 0.4% 0.2% 0.4% 0.1% ü
PPC 0.1% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0% ü
PPN 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
PRP 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0% ü
PT 0.1% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0% ü
RP 0.1% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0% ü
SDP 17.8% 15.1% 19.7% 2.3% ü
SNP 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.0% ü
SPN 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.0% ü
UPN 0.1% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0% ü
UPP 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% ü
YDP 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% ü
YPP 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% ü

 

 

Appendix II

Distribution of All Polling Units and PVT Sampled Polling Units for the 2018 Osun Gubernatorial Election
S/No LGA Registered Voters Polling Units Percent of Total Polling Units Sampled Polling Units Percent of Total Sampled Polling Units Observers
1 ATAKUMOSA EAST 35,627 68 2.3% 6 2.4% 12
2 ATAKUMOSA WEST 30,428 67 2.2% 6 2.4% 12
3 AYEDAADE 60,177 132 4.4% 11 4.4% 22
4 AYEDIRE 32,231 54 1.8% 4 1.6% 8
5 BOLUWADURO 20,442 74 2.5% 6 2.4% 12
6 BORIPE 57,402 78 2.6% 7 2.8% 14
7 EDE NORTH 59,725 122 4.1% 10 4.0% 20
8 EDE SOUTH 46,887 75 2.5% 6 2.4% 12
9 EGBEDORE 42,814 53 1.8% 5 2.0% 10
10 EJIGBO 63,652 93 3.1% 7 2.8% 14
11 IFE CENTRAL 107,612 168 5.6% 14 5.6% 28
12 IFE EAST 97,329 91 3.0% 8 3.2% 16
13 IFE NORTH 52,684 90 3.0% 7 2.8% 14
14 IFE SOUTH 50,356 122 4.1% 10 4.0% 20
15 IFEDAYO 15,653 63 2.1% 6 2.4% 12
16 IFELODUN 69,174 105 3.5% 8 3.2% 16
17 ILA 39,188 124 4.1% 11 4.4% 22
18 ILESA EAST 66,758 95 3.2% 7 2.8% 14
19 ILESA WEST 60,600 95 3.2% 8 3.2% 16
20 IREPODUN 46,559 127 4.2% 11 4.4% 22
21 IREWOLE 61,977 119 4.0% 10 4.0% 20
22 ISOKAN 45,903 67 2.2% 5 2.0% 10
23 IWO 78,120 144 4.8% 12 4.8% 24
24 OBOKUN 45,959 83 2.8% 7 2.8% 14
25 ODO-­‐OTIN 57,663 112 3.7% 10 4.0% 20
26 OLA-­‐OLUWA 30,786 52 1.7% 4 1.6% 8
27 OLORUNDA 90,110 116 3.9% 9 3.6% 18
28 ORIADE 54,922 111 3.7% 10 4.0% 20
29 OROLU 31,904 83 2.8% 7 2.8% 14
30 OSOGBO 129,853 227 7.5% 18 7.2% 36
  Total 1,682,495 3010 100.0% 250 100.0% 500

 

Preliminary Process Statement on the 2018 Osun Gubernatorial Election

Introduction

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of YIAGA AFRICA #WatchingTheVote (WTV), we welcome you to the second in the series of the press briefings to share the WTV findings on the election day process as observed by the WTV polling unit observers deployed to 250 sampled polling units in each of the 30 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Osun State.

As indicated in the WTV Midday Statement, WTV observed early commencement of polls across the 30 LGAs with 96% of polling units open by 9:00am with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Officials present. WTV notes the peaceful conduct of voters during the accreditation and voting process across the state and commends the electoral commission for ensuring a 100% deployment of the smart card readers to the polling units across the state.

As the only observer group with a deployment of 500 observers to a representative random sample of 250 polling units in all LGAs in the state, #WatchingTheVote as at 11:30pm analysed its data received from 247 of 250 sampled polling and currently has a stable estimated range for the election outcome. This report will include WTV findings on: the process of accreditation and voting, the use of the card readers to accredit voters, the counting process, and the estimate of voter turn-out for the Osun 2018 governorship election. This report will also highlight critical incidents observed.

It is important to note that with the estimated range for the election outcome, YIAGA AFRICA #WatchingTheVote is confident in her data on the election result estimate and is ready to share the WTV findings and verify the accuracy of the official results. However, if the result as released by INEC does not match the WTV estimate, YIAGA AFRICA WTV will not hesitate to expose it.

Preliminary Election Day Findings

YIAGA AFRICA’s preliminary findings are based on reports from 247 of 250 sampled polling units on the process of accreditation, voting and counting.

Accreditation and Voting

  • At 95% of polling units the card reader functioned throughout the day. In the remaining 5% of polling units, card readers malfunctioned but were either fixed or replaced.
  • At 100% of polling units every potential voter’s permanent voter card (PVC) was checked by the card reader. At 94% of polling units every potential voter’s PVC was checked against the register of voters. At 100% of polling units no one was accredited to vote without a PVC.
  • At 98% of polling units every potential voter’s fingerprints were checked by the card reader.
  • As of 12:00 pm, about 9 of 10 voters had both PVCs and fingerprints authenticated by the card reader
  • 94% of polling units were set up so no one could see how the voters marked their ballot papers. However, at 6% of polling units it was possible to see how a voter’s ballot paper was thumb printed when it was put in the ballot box.
  • At 100% of polling units indelible ink was applied to the cuticle of a finger of every accredited voter.
  • At 5% of polling units voters crowded the polling officials and at 3% of polling units there were incidents of intimidation, harassment or violence.
  • 29% of polling units completed accreditation and voting by the designated time of 2:00pm while by 3:00pm 82% of polling units had completed accreditation and voting. However, at 6% of polling units accreditation and voting extended beyond 4 pm.
  • At 5% of polling units voters in the queue by 2:00pm were not allowed to be accredited to vote.

Counting, Signing and Posting of Results at Polling Units

  • At 98% of polling units the polling officials showed how every ballot paper was marked to everyone present.
  • At 96% of polling units the polling officials sorted the ballot papers into piles by political party and rejected ballots.
  • On average 8 party agents were present in the polling units during counting.
  • At 11% of polling units the ballot papers were counted more than once.
    • In 6% of polling units an APC party agent requested a recount
    • In 5% of polling units a PDP party agent requested a recount
    • In 3% of polling units an SDP party agent requested a recount
    • In 2% of polling units an agent from any other political party than APC, PDP or SDP requested a recount
  • During counting, in 4% of polling units there were incidents of intimidation, harassment against the polling officials.
  • By 4:00 pm, counting of gubernatorial ballot papers had finished in 78% of polling units
  • At 99% of polling units APC party agents countersigned the form EC.8A
  • At 99% of polling units PDP party agents countersigned the form EC.8A
  • At 97% of polling units SDP party agents countersigned the form EC.8A

Critical Incidents

Watching the vote observed some critical incidents and after verifying its authenticity notes:

  • YIAGA Africa recorded two incidents of harassment and intimidation of observers. WTV Observers were harassed, beaten and detained by political thugs in Polling Unit 006, Apepe Village, Ward 5 in Atakumosa West LGA and were released by 3pm. While party agents in Polling Unit 002, Gbalade PU, Oke Amala Ward in Ifelodun LGA refused to allow observers observe although this was later addressed by the Divisional Police Officer for Ifelodun LGA
  • In three polling units observed by WTV, ballots/ballot boxes were snatched or stuffed during accreditation and voting, specifically in Iseki Oloti Polling Unit 001 in Ede North, Otagere Village Polling Unit 005 in Ede South LGA, and Ward 8, Polling Unit 001 in Orolu LGA
  • WTV observed vote buying in four locations, specifically Ward 3 Polling Unit 005 Molete, Iwo LGA, Oore Community PU Code 006 in Boripe LGA, L.A. School Adereto Polling Unit 004 in Ife South, and Ilasa Town Hall Polling Unit 002 in Obokun LGA.

Turnout

YIAGA AFRICA’s preliminary estimates indicate that turnout for the Osun gubernatorial election will be between 45.0% and 47.8% based on official turnout figures collected from the PVT’s representative statistical sample of polling units across the 30 LGAs in the state. If INEC’s official turnout falls within WTV’s estimated range, then it accurately reflects the ballots cast at polling units.

Conclusion

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, it is important to remember that the Osun gubernatorial election is not yet over and that this report reflects YIAGA AFRICA’s preliminary findings on the conduct of accreditation, voting, and counting. INEC is still in the process of tallying results and has not yet announced the outcome of the election. YIAGA AFRICA currently has 30 #WatchingTheVote results collation observers deployed to the 30 LGA Results Collation Centres and one observer deployed to the INEC state office to observe the final collation process and announcement of results. YIAGA AFRICA’s WTV will continue to observe the entire process and will issue additional statements as appropriate. YIAGA AFRICA calls on all contesting political parties and candidates to allow INEC to finish its work without interference and to urge their supporters to remain calm. Further, YIAGA AFRICA calls on the people of Osun to be peaceful and reject any calls for violence as INEC tallies the result for the gubernatorial election. YIAGA AFRICA will also issue a comprehensive report after the election has concluded that contains our final findings and recommendations.

YIAGA AFRICA would like to thank the many Nigerians across the state who volunteered to serve as non-partisan election observers on behalf of all the people of Osun. YIAGA AFRICA commends the dedication of the permanent INEC staff in Abuja and Osun state who organized the election; the commitment of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members who served as poll officials, and the professionalism of the security agents who worked to keep the peace on Election Day. YIAGA AFRICA also appreciates the collaboration of our development partners and their commitment to Nigerian initiatives to ensure credible elections in our country.

YIAGA AFRICA, through the #WatchingTheVote initiative, is committed promoting more credible elections by providing independent information on the conduct of elections and independently verifying the accuracy of election results. #WatchingTheVote is For All Nigerians, Beholden to No One, and Driven By Data.

Long live Osun state, long live Nigeria.

Thank you.

Dr. Aisha .L. Abdullahi

Co-Chair, Watching The Vote Osun Election Observation Mission

 

Ezenwa Nwagwu

Co-Chair, Watching The Vote Osun Election Observation Mission

 

For media inquiries please contact:

Moshood Isah

Communication Officer

YIAGA AFRICA

Tel. +234 (0) 703 666 9339

Email: [email protected]

 

Learn more about #WatchingTheVote at www.watchingthevote.org or on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/yiaga.org or on Twitter @YIAGA.

#WatchingTheVote Mid-day Situational Press Statement on the 2018 Osun Gubernatorial Election

Introduction

YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote (WTV) is Nigeria’s largest non-partisan and independent movement of citizens observers. WTV currently has 500 polling unit observers deployed in 250 sampled polling units in all 30 Local Government Areas (LGA) of Osun and 32 mobile observers across the State to observe the ongoing voting process. At the close of polls, the WTV observation will extend to the 30 LGA Result collation centres with 30 observers to observe the results collation process. In order to provide accurate and timely information on the election process, YIAGA AFRICA’s WTV is deploying the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) which is an advanced methodology that employs well established statistical principles and utilizes sophisticated information technologies for election observation. Using this methodology YIAGA AFRICA’s WTV is the only observer group that can independently verify the accuracy of the election result.

Watching the Vote commends the people of Osun for their peaceful conduct at the commencement of polls. The WTV Midday situational statement is based on WTV observation so far and highlights findings drawn from a systematic assessment of four process-related issues which includes: opening of polling units and presence of polling officials and Election materials; commencement of accreditation and voting; use of the smart card readers; and presence of party agents.

These are preliminary findings as of 1:00 pm on election day with reports received from 243 of our 250 sampled polling units. The following data will be updated as additional reports are received from WTV observers at sampled polling units.

 

Watching The Vote Findings

  1. As of 8:00 am, YIAGA AFRICA WTV observers reported that INEC officials had arrived at 91% of polling units.
  2. By 9:00 am, 94% of polling units had commenced accreditation and voting.
  3. On average, polling units had 4 polling officials present, of which 2 were women. 90% of polling units had at least one female polling official present, 62% of polling units had two or more female polling officials present.
  4. In addition, 100% of polling units had security agents present.
  5. Card readers were observed in 100% of polling units. All essential materials (register of voters, indelible ink-marker pen, polling official stamp, voting cubicle, ink pad, Form EC.8A Statement of Results and Form EC.40H Voter Information) were present in 99% of polling units.
  6. APC party agents were seen at 99% of polling units, PDP at 98% of polling units, and SDP at 96% of polling units. On average, seven party agents were present in the polling units.

Watching The Vote commends INEC on continued improvements to the timely opening of polling units, as compared to the Anambra and Ekiti gubernatorial elections. In Anambra, INEC officials were observed in only 28% of polling units by 7:30 am and accreditation and voting had begun by 9:00 am in 39% of polling units and in Ekiti, INEC officials were observed in 78% of polling units by 7:30 am and accreditation and voting commenced in 91% by 9:00am.

Watching The Vote however noted two polling units where observers were initially turned away: Ife-East LGA where voters obstructed the observers from carrying out their tasks and one in Ifelodun LGA where observers were prevented from observing by political party agents.  As of 12:00 noon, both of these situations had been resolved.

In view of the foregoing, YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote makes the following preliminary recommendations:

Preliminary Recommendations

  1. Voters should respect the secrecy of the ballot by complying with laid down procedure for folding of ballot papers and voting. Securing officials are encouraged to take proactive measures to prevent vote buying at the polling unit.
  2. INEC officials especially presiding officers should ensure strict compliance with INEC guidelines for voting, counting and transmission of results.
  3. Party agents and voters should conduct themselves in a professional manner and refrain from preventing accredited observers from observing the election at the polling unit.
  4. Watching The Vote encourages security agents to conduct themselves professionally and to continue to ensure a peaceful process.
  5. INEC and security agencies should ensure result collation centers are accessible to accredited observers, media and party agents.

 Conclusion

WTV calls on Osun voters who are yet to go out to vote to kindly proceed to their polling unit confident that their votes will count. WTV will continue to provide updates on the voting and counting process and will provide an independent verification of the election results as announced by INEC. WTV 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.

We once again urge the electorate to remain calm even in the face of challenges that may arise as every Osun voter has the right to participate irrespective of party affiliation. In the interests of transparency and accountability, we recommend INEC to make polling unit results publicly available in a timely manner. This will enhance the confidence of political parties, contestants and the public in the accuracy of the official results.

YIAGA AFRICA’s WTV will observe the process until the end. Our observers will remain at polling units until accreditation, voting, and counting are completed and the official results have been announced and posted by the polling officials. YIAGA AFRICA will issue additional updates as appropriate and intends to issue a preliminary statement on the conduct of accreditation, voting, counting and projection on voter turnout on Saturday, September 22, at the Ideal Nest hotel at 9:00 pm.

Thank you and God Bless the people of Osun!

 Dr. Aisha L. Abdullahi

Co-Chair, Watching The Vote Osun Election Observation Mission

Ezenwa Nwagwu

Co-Chair, Watching The Vote Osun Election Observation Mission

For media inquiries please contact:

Moshood Isah

Communication Officer

YIAGA AFRICA

Tel. +234 (0) 703 666 9339

Email: [email protected]

 

Learn more about #WatchingTheVote at www.watchingthevote.org or on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/yiaga.org or on Twitter @YIAGA.