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.

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