Pre-Election Press Statement on the 2018 Osun Governorship election issued by YIAGA AFRICA Watching the Vote

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote; Nigeria’s largest non-partisan and independent citizens movement on electoral integrity, we welcome you to this Pre-Election Press Briefing on the 2018 governorship election in Osun State. This press briefing is the first in series of press conferences to be hosted by YIAGA AFRICA WTV during the 2018 Osun Governorship election.

On September 22, 2018, the people of Osun state will go to the polls to elect a Governor in what promises to be a keenly contested election with forty-eight political parties jostling for the votes of 1, 682, 495 registered voters. This election is the seventh off-cycle election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) since the 2015 general election and the last off-cycle election before the 2019 general election, as such, this election will further serve as a test to assess the preparedness of INEC and other stakeholders for the 2019 elections.

As indicated in WTV Pre-Election observation report, the Action Democratic Party (ADP), All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Social Democratic party (SDP) dominate the political space with robust campaigns and large support base. With each of these parties fielding candidates from each of the three Senatorial districts coupled with an even distribution of registered voters who have collected their Permanent Voter Card (PVC) across the senatorial districts, the election may be decided by the swing Local Government Areas in the State.

As Nigeria’s largest non-partisan and independent movement of citizens observers committed to promoting electoral integrity, Watching The Vote will be providing systematic, accurate and timely information on the election day process. YIAGA AFRICA will be the only observer group that can independently verify the accuracy of the official results. As deployed in Ondo 2016, Anambra 2017 and the recent Ekiti 2018 State Governorship Elections, Watching The Vote will confirm the outcome of the election if the result announced reflect the votes cast. However, if the announced results have been manipulated and do not match the results posted at polling units, then YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote will expose it.  YIAGA’s Watching the Vote is “Driven by Data – For All Nigerians – Beholden to None!”

WTV Pre-election Observation

In line with our commitment to electoral integrity through the provision of citizens oversight on the electoral process, Watching The Vote deployed a Pre-Election Observation (PREO) mission to Osun from 3rd August – 19 September, 2018 to observe the pre-election environment. This press statement highlights findings of observations from the first, second, third and fourth reporting phase. In previous pre-election observation reports, we presented our findings on activities of major political actors, voter education campaigns, activities of marginalized groups and threats of violence. In the final reporting period, Watching The Vote makes observations on early warning signs of violence, conduct of electoral stakeholders, compliance with electoral laws amongst others.

YIAGA AFRICA WTV PREO observation findings provide an indication of emerging trends during the pre-election period.

Summary of Findings:

  1. Election Administration: Watching The Vote notes impressive level of preparations by INEC for the Osun governorship election. These preparatory activities include voter education, collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), production and distribution of voter register to political parties, recruitment and training of polling officials staff and distribution of election observation kits. Notably, Watching The Vote LTOs observers reported voter education activities by INEC in 29 of the 30 LGAs in Osun state.
  2. Noncompliance with the electoral legal framework: Watching The Vote observed gross violations of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended in the pre-election period by political parties and candidates in the election. Political parties were involved in voter inducement through the distribution of money, gift items and other suspicious empowerment programs. Cases of voter inducement and vote buying was prevalent in Boluwaduro, Boripe, Ifedayo, Ifelodun, Irepodun, Ila Irepodun, Odo-Otin, Olorunda, Orolu, Osogbo, Atakumosa East, Atakumosa West, Ife Central, Ife East, Ife North, Ife South, Ilesha West, Obokun, Oriade, Ayedaade, Ayedire, Ede North,Egbedore, Ejigbo, Irewole and Iwo.
  1. Voter sensitization and mobilization: Watching The Vote also observed increased voter education by the electoral commission, National Orientation Agency (NOA) and civil society groups. Unlike the previous reporting period, the National Orientation Agency was visible in conducting voter education. Audience specific voter education messages were designed and disseminated to women, youth and people with disabilities. Our LTOs observed this in Boluwaduro, Boripe, Ifedayo, Ifelodun, Ila, Irepodun, Olorunda, Odo-Otin, Orolu, Osobgo, Atakumosa East, Atakumosa West, Ife North, Ife South, Ife West, Ilesha West, Oraide, Ede North Ede South, Ejigbo, Irewole, Isokan and Ola-Oluwa
  1. Political Campaigns: Political parties have intensified campaign rallies across all LGAs of the state. Out of 48 parties that presented candidates for this election, only the ADP, APC, PDP and SDP have extended their campaign rallies to more LGAs in this reporting period as compared to earlier reporting periods (From August 3 to September 13, 2018).
  1. Early Warning: Watching The Vote observers reported cases of violent physical or verbal attacks, vandalism or destruction of properties, inflammatory or inciting statements and recruitment of political thugs by a candidate or his/her supporters. These incidences were reported in the following locations;
  • Violent physical or verbal attacks at political party rallies/meetings occurred in Boluwaduro, Boripe, Ifedayo, Ifelodun, Irepodun, Olorunda, Osogbo, Atakumosa East, Ife North, Ede North,Illesha West, and Iwo LGA. There were acts of violence against women during campaign rallies.,
  • Destruction of billboards and campaign materials at rallies were observed in Boluwaduro, Illesha West, Ifelodun, Osogbo, and Isokan. Recruitment of political thugs by a candidate or his/her supporters:
  • Recruitment of political thugs by a candidate or his/her supporters occurred in Boripe, Ifelodun, Irepodun, Ilesha West, Ede North, Irewole and Iwo LGA

 Watching The Vote notes that these are incidences could potentially lead to breach of peace if not abated.

  1. Participation of marginalized groups: Watching The Vote LTOs noted heightened involvement of youth and women in campaigning and canvassing for votes for political parties and candidates. Women and Youth groups were seen or heard to be actively engaging the electoral process by canvassing for votes in 22 LGAs and PWDs or PWD groups in 8 LGAs

EMERGING ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Calm and peaceful political climate: Watching The Vote notes the peaceful and calm atmosphere in the state less than 48 hours to the elections. We commend the people of Osun for their resilience and peaceful disposition in the build to the election. We urge all stakeholders to maintain peace and decorum to ensure a successful governorship election on September 22, 2018.
  1. Misinformation and fake news: Watching The Vote is concerned with the growing rate of fake news and misinformation in the public space ahead of the election. This is dangerous and could negatively influence political behaviour in this election.

We urge INEC and  the security agencies to remain alert and counter fake news and misinformation in a timely and expeditious manner. Sponsors and peddlers of fake news and misinformation should be reprimanded and sanctioned in line with legal stipulations.

  1. Election Security: Watching The Vote would like to reiterate its call that security agents on election duty must uphold the principles of non-partisanship, transparency, civil policing and professionalism in the conduct of their affairs. Watching The Vote calls on security agencies deployed for the election to respect the rights of citizens and observers, including the right to freedom of movement on election day for duly accredited observers.
  2. Conduct of VIPs on election day: Watching The Vote is concerned with the influx of top government functionaries from other states into Osun. Government officials and political elites should be barred from moving with security personnel to and from polling booths, ostensibly to supervise or monitor elections. There should be a strict implementation of the restriction of government officials/VIP with armed security personnel on election day.
  1. Vote buying and selling: As noted during the 2018 Ekiti governorship election, the Osun governorship election may be decided by the highest bidder. This is based on prevalence of voter inducement that precedes election day voting. Watching The Vote welcomes the reorganization of polling units by INEC in its bid to protect the secrecy of ballot. Specifically, we welcome to ban on use of phones in the voting cubicles of voting booth. If properly enforced, Watching The Vote believes it will reduce the incidence of vote buying and selling at the polling unit.

The voters must resist any attempt by politicians to subvert the process through material inducement or cash. We urge voters to make informed voting choices based on capacity, character and competence of candidates and not amount of cash or gift items distributed by parties and candidates.

  1. Election logistics: Watching The Vote commends INEC for the early distribution of election materials from the Central bank to the Local Government offices. The commission is urged to ensure transparency and timely deployment of its staff, materials (sensitive and insensitive) and other resources from the Local Government to the Registration Area Camps (RACS). In view of the raining season, INEC is urged to make contingency arrangement in the event of heavy downpour on election day.
  1. Transparency of result collation and transmission: Judging from history, we are concerned polling officials will not adhere to INEC directive or comply with the guideline. We would like to reiterate that posting results at the polling unit will enhance the integrity of the elections, therefore Supervising Polling Officers (SPOs) and INEC monitors should ensure Presiding Officers post the polling unit results at the polling units using FORM EC 60 E. INEC should endeavour all polling staff who flout this directive are duly sanctioned. Watching The Vote will be closely observing the e-collation process and urges INEC to ensure transparency and openness in the result collation and transmission process. Voters are also encouraged to take pictures of the results posted at the polling unit using the FORM EC 60 E popularly referred to as “The People’s Result Sheet’ 
  1. Youth and Women Candidacy: Watching The Vote notes the low level of youth and women representation in the list of candidates fielded by political parties in the Osun elections. For the Osun election, only four political parties presented female governorship candidates representing 8% women candidacy while thirteen parties presented youth candidates representing 13% youth candidacy. Accordingly to INEC, 48% of registered voters are between 18 – 35 years of age while the gender distribution reveals 52% of registered voters in Osun are males and 48% are women. Despite this demography, political parties have maintained the culture of constricting the space for women and youth.

WTV Election Day Observation

YIAGA AFRICA’s WTV Election Day deployment is based on the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology – the gold standard for citizen observation. The PVT is an advanced observation methodology that employs well-established statistical principles and utilizes sophisticated information technologies. YIAGA AFRICA’s WTV provides timely and accurate information on the conduct of accreditation, voting, and counting as well as independently verifies the official governorship results as announced by the INEC. YIAGA AFRICA deployed the methodology in the July 2018 Governorship election in Ekiti State 2017 governorship election in Anambra state, as well as in 2016 in Ondo State, and verified the official results.

For the September 22 Governorship Election, WTV will deploy duly trained and non-partisan 500 stationary observers to a representative statistical sample of 250 polling units and 32 mobile observers located in all 30 local government areas (LGAs) of Osun state. WTV will also deploy 30 collation centre observers to each of the LGA Collation Centres. All Watching The Vote citizen observers had to sign a pledge of neutrality and were given a code of conduct to which they have to adhere when observing. The sampled polling units were determined by established statistical principles to ensure the resulting information is representative of the state and unbiased. The PVT sample of polling units is truly representative of all of the polling units because the percentage of sampled polling units for each LGA is similar to the percentage of all polling unit for each LGA. For example, Orolu LGA has 2.8% of all the polling units in Osun (83 of 3010) and 2.8% (7 of 250) of the sampled polling units are in Orolu LGA. While not identical, the percentages for every LGA are very close, clearly demonstrating that the PVT sample is representative of the entire state (Appendix I demonstrates the representativeness of sampled polling units).

On Election Day, WTV observers will report to their assigned polling units at 7:00 am and remain there throughout setup, accreditation and voting, counting and the announcement and posting of the official results. Throughout the day, every citizen observer at sampled polling units will send in eleven coded text messages to the Osun data centre located here at Ideal Nest Hotel, Osogbo. Coded text messages sent by WTV citizen observers will provide detailed information on the conduct of the process as well as the official results for the polling unit as announced by the polling officials. Over the course of Election Day, YIAGA AFRICA’s data centre will receive 5,500 text messages containing approximately 56,000 individual pieces of information about the 2018 Osun governorship election. Once the text messages are received at YIAGA AFRICA’s data centre, they will be processed and reviewed to ensure the information is complete, authentic and accurate.

On Election Day, YIAGA AFRICA’s Osun data centre will open at 6:00 am and will remain open until counting is finished at all sampled polling units and all WTV citizen observers have sent all eleven of their observation reports. YIAGA AFRICA’s data centre is open to the public and media at all times. Throughout Election Day, YIAGA AFRICA will provide – as appropriate – updates on the conduct of the election based on the near real-time reports from its observers. These will be released at the data centre and posted on social media at YIAGA AFRICA’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/yiaga.org) and YIAGA AFRICA’s Twitter page (@YIAGA).

On Saturday, September 22, 2018, at 9 pm, YIAGA AFRICA will release its estimated projections based on its preliminary data. On Sunday, 23 September, 2018, at Ideal Nest Hotel, Osogbo, YIAGA AFRICA will share its preliminary WTV findings on the conduct of set-up, accreditation, voting and counting. Immediately after INEC announces the official results for the gubernatorial election, YIAGA AFRICA will hold its own press conference and issue its election results verification statement. Verification of the election results will be based on the INEC official results as announced by poll officials at the 250 sampled polling stations. WTV is NOT an exit poll. No voter is asked for whom he/she voted.

Since WTV is based on official results from a representative random sample of polling units, YIAGA AFRICA will be able to estimate the state-wide results for the governorship election within a narrow range based on well-established statistical principles. If INEC’s official results fall within YIAGA AFRICA’s estimated range, then the public, political parties and candidates should have confidence that the official results reflect the ballots cast at polling units; if the announced official results do not reflect the ballot cast, YIAGA AFRICA will expose it.

Conclusion

Watching The Vote is ready to observe the 2018 Ekiti gubernatorial elections. To demonstrate our readiness, YIAGA AFRICA is conducting a full simulation exercise today Thursday, September 20, 2018 at Ideal Nest, Lameco Junction, Ring Road, Osogbo, Osun State It will involve all 500 WTV citizen observers sending in practice coded text messages to YIAGA AFRICA’s computer database. This will test every aspect of WTV to ensure that all citizen observers are prepared and that all reporting systems function properly on Election Day.

Watching The Vote calls on Osun voters to go to the polls confident that their votes will count. WTV will provide independent verification of the election results as announced by INEC. Watching The Vote appeals to INEC permanent and ad hoc staff, 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. Election Day is expected to be long for voters who will spend hours at the polling unit queuing for accreditation and voting. It is likely to be hot and tempers may rise. We 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. Watching The Vote wishes to encourage all registered, PVC-holding voters of Osun to go out on Saturday, 22 September 2018 to vote their choice in the Governorship election.

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 1

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

 

Plangret is a Zonal Program Officer with YIAGA AFRICA's WatchingThe Vote

Increasing Relevance of Youth political participation ahead of the 2019 Election– Plangret Dabup

With the Nigerian polity gearing up for the 2019 elections, the Pre-election environment has been a beehive of activity with activities around Continuous Voter Registration, Collection of Permanent Voters Card, political party campaigns and rallies amongst other activities in top gear. While Continuous Voter Registration has been suspended according to the extant electoral laws, collection of PVC’s is ongoing across Nigeria with many political parties are already fixing dates of party primaries with notable outcry in some quarters about the exorbitant cost of nomination forms, particularly in the major political parties.

The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) guarantees the right of every Nigerian to the Freedom of Association. Additionally, the right to vote and be voted for irrespective of superficial factors is a core principle in democratic governance based on the will of the people which is expressed in democratic elections.

In turn, the Constitution provides that no association shall canvass for votes or contest in an election except on the platform of a political party. Consequently, political parties are the only platform on which candidates can contest for an election in Nigeria, so their viability and proper functioning have a great impact on our democracy.  This has been the basis for many agitations for Constitutional reform and Electoral Amendment, mainly to enhance the inclusion and integrity of our internal party democracy which has not been very effective in producing viable and desirable candidates in recent times.

Furthermore, stakeholders in the election have been actively engaging their constituents on all levels and liaising with each other to ensure that the 2019 election is conducted in a free and fair manner with the best perception of integrity and transparency.

With the passage of the Not Too Young to Run Bill, there has been a noticeable emergence of young people in the political space, with many indicating their interest to run for office in the upcoming election. Some of these young people have been registered and active in their respective parties in the past but have not had the opportunity to express their intent to contest in elections. Some are taking up the opportunity of the law opening the space so that they can participate. It is therefore safe to say that their role in reforming and shaping their parties is very vital.

Against the backdrop of all the recent happenings, there are many vital questions that arise as concerns the emergence of more young people in the political space and the implications for our democracy. How do they affect the current trend of party politics especially with issues of decamping and carpet crossing? How do they effectively engage party activities and scrutinize their level of transparency, particularly with regards to the conduct of political party primaries? How do they effectively push for policy changes, starting with reducing the cost of party nomination forms and strengthening internal party democracy? What is the level of access the young aspirants and party members have to the party policy documents at every stage of their engagements? Can the influx of young aspirants into the political system be the much needed boost for the smaller political parties in the country which are registered with INEC?

Basically, the young and new political actors on the scene are very vital to the “Change” that Nigeria is looking for. With the current set of the political class in the build up to the 2019 election, much work needs to be done in terms of moving away from the dangerous narrative being peddled by them leading up to the election.

More so, the current trend of vote buying as opposed to incidents of ballot snatching (even at the party primary level) also indicates that the power is returning to the people. Therefore, there is the need for a paradigm shift of the citizens of Nigeria in terms of holding our leaders and national democracy to a higher standard than before.

It is pertinent to state that electoral stakeholders including Civil Society Organizations have played a major role in pushing for this change on different fronts. For instance, as a civil society organization, YIAGA AFRRICA is actively involved in election observation through its Watching The Vote Project which is a citizens movement geared towards ensuring that votes count. Many other CSOs which are mainly driven by young of young influencers who are making giant strides in promoting credible elections or supporting young aspirants ahead of 2019 general elections.

Plangret is a Zonal Program Officer at YIAGA AFRICA

Twitter : @Plangbest

 

 

PREO 3 Graphics

YIAGA AFRICA RELEASES THIRD PRE-ELECTION OBSERVATION REPORT

DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT BELOW 

Osun Election: PRE-ELECTION OBSERVATION REPORT 3

Executive Summary
YIAGA AFRICA’s Watching The Vote (WTV) is the largest non-partisan and independent movement of citizens observers committed to electoral integrity and playing an active role in the Osun 2018 governorship election. On August 3rd 2018, YIAGA’s WTV deployed Long-Term Observation (LTOs) to Osun state to observe the pre-election environment. This report is the
third in a series of four (4) to be released by YIAGA, which also highlights findings of observations from the first and second reporting phase. In the previous pre-election environment’s report, we presented our findings regarding activities of major political actors, voter education campaigns, activities of marginalized groups and threats of violence. Now, in the third period, the concerns in pre-election observations include building early warning signs, informed advocacy and documenting stakeholders’ engagements in the pre-elections environment.

Summary of Findings:

Compared to the first and second reporting period, there is an impressive preparations by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) across the entire state (29 of the 30 LGAs);

Voter education activities undertaken by both INEC and CSOs were observed during the current reporting period. However, YIAGA WTV LTOs were not exposed to voter education workshop by either INEC or CSOs in Olorunda, Atakumosa East, Ife South, Ife Central, Ife East, Ilesha West, Oriade, Ayedaade,Ayedire, Ede North, Egbedore, Ejigbo, Iwo and Ola-Oluwa LGAs;

Voter education programming and messaging targeted at marginalized groups such as: youth, women and people with disabilities (PWDs) has been consistently observed by WTV LTOs since August 3rd 2018 in Atakumosa East,Atakumosa West, Boluwaduro, Ede North, Ede South, Ife South, Ife North, Ifedayo, Ifelodun, Ilesha West, Irepodun, Isokan, Odo-tin,
Ola-Oluwa, Orolu and Osogbo LGAs; Partisan Senior Civil Servants were observed canvassing for votes for political candidates’ in Boluwaduro, Osogbo, Atakumosa East, Irewole and Iwo LGAs;

Violations of the Electoral Act were observed in some LGAs of the state. These include;
Voter inducement through the distribution of money and gift items by politicians and their supporters in Boluwaduro, Boripe, Ifedayo, Ifelodun, Irepodun, Odo-Otin, Olorunda, Osogbo, Ife East, Ife North, Ife South, Ilesha West, Ayedire, Ejigbo, Irewole and Iwo LGAs of the state,
Violent physical/verbal attacks in Boluwaduro, Ifedayo, Ifelodun, Ila, Irepodun, Osogbo, Ilesha West, Atakumosa West, Atakumosa East and Ife North LGA. Inciting statements in Orolu and Iwo LGAs and
Vandalism or destruction of properties in Ilesha West, Isokan. Atakumosa West, Atakumosa East, Ifedayo,and Iwo LGAs

Hate speech, violence or intimidation against candidates or people because of their age was reported in Boluwaduro LGA and hate speech against political candidates or their supporters because they have a disability was reported in Atakumosa West LGA.

Ready to Run Movement Statement on High Cost of Nomination Forms and Internal Party Democracy

The Ready to Run Movement notes with concern the underhand practices that contribute to the high cost of securing party nomination forms and internal party democracy within political parties that undermines the emergence of youth (women and men) candidates in the 2019 general elections.

According to reports reaching the Ready to Run Movement, aspirants for House of Assembly and House of Representatives elections in some political parties are made to pay up to two hundred thousand naira (N200,000.00) each (apart from the cost of expression of interest and nomination forms) for screening in some states.

The Ready to Run Movement also condemns the worrisome tactics deployed by some state governors and party executives to thwart the political aspirations of young aspirants. In some states, nomination forms are sold to aspirants after approval has been given by the governor of the state. In other words, party executives cannot sell nomination forms to young aspirants until the approval of the Governor and party leaders is sought and secured. This practice is undemocratic and autocratic.

Internal party democracy is central to the quest for sustainable electoral democracy. The practice where political parties hold internal party primary contests but also proceed to select their nominees for office without regard for those primaries undermines the culture of democratic competition.

The Movement recognizes that political parties are essential to democracy as they provide a structure for the participation of young men and women as well as persons with disability in the electoral process. The lack of internal party democracy and high cost of securing party nomination undermines democratic participation of youth candidates in the 2019 general elections.

The Ready to Run Movement is borne out of the Not Too Young To Run campaign as part of efforts to further operationalize the Not Too Young To Run act in the 2019 elections.  With  Ready To Run, we are making a bold statement that young people can demonstrate excellent public leadership with immense capacity to address Africa’s governance challenges.

Signed

Ibrahim Faruk

On behalf of the Ready to Run Movement

Osun Poll: WatchingTheVote raises alarm over voter inducement, Releases Pre-election Observation findings

YIAGA Africa’s WatchingTheVote has raised alarm over of voters’ inducement ahead of September 22 governorship election in Osun state. This was revealed by Project Director, Cynthia Mbamalu WTV during a press briefing in Osogbo, the state capital.

According to Ms Mbamalu, WTV pre-election findings, observed that voters’ inducement through the distribution of money and gifts was visible in the state.

She said there was urgent need for all election stakeholders especially political parties to intensify campaign to discourage the act of voter bribery before and during the election.

WatchingTheVote pre-election observation also revealed that, electoral preparatory activities are ongoing in the State with over half (91%) of WTV LTOs reported witnessing election preparatory activities undertaken by INEC in the state.

‘While Youth, Women and PWD groups are actively engaging the political space through canvassing for votes for political parties and candidates in the state, Voter education messages targeted at women, youth and PWDs were not witnessed or heard of in Boripe Ila, Ifedayo Irepodun. Odo Otin, Orolu, Olorunda, Osogbo, Atakumosa East, Atakumosa West, Ife East, Ife Central, Ife South, Ife North, Ilesha West, Obokun, Oriade, Ayedaade, Ayedire, Ede South, Ejbigo, Irewole, Iwo and Ola-Oluwa LGAs’, she said.

She also urged political parties and their candidates to act within the ambits of the law and promote a positive political culture that would enhance peaceful election.

While urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to sustain voter education, Ms Mbamalu urged the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to invest in voter education as part of its mandate.

She advised electorate who have yet to collect their permanent voter cards to do so to enable them to perform their civil duty on the day of the election.

Besides, Ms Mbamalu said the group, as a way of promoting electoral integrity, had trained 60 trainers and would be deployed to all the 30 local government areas of the state.

She said that the trainers would in turn train 500 Watching the Vote Polling Units observers and 32 roving observers.

Ms Mbamalu said the group’s Watching the Vote Project would deployed the parallel Vote Tabulation methodology, which uses statistical principles, Information and Communication Technologies to provide systematic data on the quality of election day processes.

FACT SHEET: 10 things to know about Osun governorship election

It is barely a week to the gubernatorial election in Osun State.

The election is expected by many to be a close contest between five leading candidates though there are 48 candidates in the election, including four women.

Several crisis trailed the conduct of primary elections in different political parties, for instance, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) conducted two primary elections with two candidates emerging from same party.

Here are 10 major things to know about the coming election:

1. Few women, more men
Out of the 48 candidates contesting the governorship election, only four candidates are women. They are; Rufai Adebisi Mujidat of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Jegede Hannah Taiwo of the Nigeria Elements Progressive Party (NEPP), Ayodele Mercy Tosin of the Restoration Party (RP), and Adebayo Rasheedat of Peoples Alliance for National Development and Liberty (PANDEL).

The fact that only four out of 48 candidates are women further shows the low representation of women in Nigeria’s political space. In the 19 years of Nigeria’s recent democracy, no woman has emerged president, vice president or even an elected governor. In elective positions since 1999, a Fact Sheet by CDD shows that women have not reached 15 percent representation.

Osun has previously produced two female deputy governors. They are Titi Laoye Tomori and Erelu Obada.

2. Departure from two-horse race
Unlike in previous Osun governorship elections in which were two horse races (mostly between two contenders), Saturday polls will see several political heavyweights slug it out for the governorship position.

The vote is featuring five strong political actors flying different flags, they are Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nurudeen Adeleke of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Iyiola Omisore of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Fatai Akinbade of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), and Adeoti Moshood of the Africa Democratic Party (ADP).

Distribution of votes during 2014 governorship elections in Osun State.
It is important to point out that the three candidates who are flying the flags of ADC, ADP and SDP were formerly strong stalwarts of the APC and PDP.

3. Political realignment and voting pattern
Saturday polls will be interesting to poll watchers on account of the nature of political realignments and how those would affect the patterns of voting. In the previous governorship election in the State, the votes were largely divided among two major political parties.

The major political parties have been very strategic and calculating to gather votes beyond their stronghold and senatorial districts by picking their running mates outside their comfort zone. The last governorship election in the State in 2014 was between the incumbent governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and senator Iyiola Omisore.

Mr Aregbesola won overwhelmingly in Osun Central and West Senatorial Districts to emerge as the winner of the 2014 governorship election.

The presence of more than two strong contenders this time could push up the numbers of votes, and thereby result in an uptick in participation. The last time, Mr Aregbesola clinched victory in eight local governments in both Osun Central and Osun West senatorial districts and also emerged victorious in six local governments in his region, Osun East senatorial zone.

His challenger, Mr Omisore got majority votes from his strongholds (Ife East, Ife South, Ife North and Ife Central) all in Osun East senatorial zone and further won two local governments each in Osun West and Central Senatorial Districts.

4. A contest of South west political godfathers
The election is of high stakes to the political parties and godfathers, particularly of the South West extraction. It is a contest between the home-based and out of state godfathers. All the five leading candidates in the election are enjoying the patronage of at least one Yoruba elder, group or movement.

For instance, the leader of the Oodua People’ Congress endorsed the APC candidate while Afenifere elders have endorsed SDP candidates.

The standard-bearer of APC has been widely reported to be the cousin of the APC National Leader and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The SDP, the platform on which former Deputy Governor, Iyiola Omisore is running, has strong ties to former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olu Falae.

On its part, the African Democratic Congress (ADC) has strong links to former President Olusegun Obasanjo who has been vocal in his criticism of the president, Muhammadu Buhari and the APC.

5. Number of registered voters
The number of registered voters in the State as at the first week of September is 1,682,495. This marked an increase of 271,122 (19.2 per cent) from the 1,411,373 registered voters in 2014 governorship election in the state.

List of former governors and their deputies.
The increase at senatorial districts level, however, differs as at September 2018. Although, Osun West has the highest percentage increase while Osun Central has the highest number of registered voters. In Osun West, the number of registered voters increased by 21.4 per cent (from 430,209 to 522,272 voters), while Osun East increased by 17.02 per cent (from 514,698 to 602,275 voters). For Osun Central, the number of registered voters increased by 17.4 per cent from 460,603 to 557,948 voters.

6. Number of PVCs collected
According to the electoral Commission, 1,127,866 people have so far collected their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) out of 1,668, 524 received in the State as at August 2018. This collection rate implies that there are over half a million PVCs (540, 658) yet to be collected by prospective voters as the clock ticks towards Election Day.

7. Party primary crisis, defections and litigations
All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) are entangled in intra-party crisis as a fallout of the controversial parties’ primaries conducted ahead of the governorship elections.

APC encountered several challenges following the adoption of direct primary method which was the first of its kind in the party’s history as party members chose the flag bearer from 332 wards.

The method was criticised by about 17 governorship aspirants of the party and many alleged that the method was adopted to favour Gboyega Oyetola, tagged to be the anointed candidate of the outgoing governor, Rauf Aregbesola and the party’s national leader, Bola Tinubu.

Kunle Rasheed Adegoke, an aggrieved aspirant, called for an outright cancellation of the exercise and also to stop INEC from recognising the outcome of the primary. He filed a case against APC & INEC before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Some aspirants pulled out of the race while the Secretary to the State Government dumped the party for Action Democratic Party (ADP) to become the sole flag bearer of the party.

Following his defection, several members of APC also left the party.

The PDP crisis is yet to be settled. The party’s flag bearer, Ademola Adeleke is still battling with a suit over his certificate by some aggrieved members of the party. Mr Adeleke emerged as the party’s flag bearer with seven votes more than that of Akin Ogunbiyi, who wrote a petition to the national body alleging fraud during the primary.

The factional crisis within SDP also became a subject of litigation as members loyal to Ademola Ishola faction sought for judicial intervention, asking for the nullification of the primary that produced Senator Iyiola Omisore as the party’s governorship candidate.

They argued that the primary conducted by the other faction was illegal, going by the earlier court order, secured by the Ademola Isola faction, flouted by Bayo Faforiji-led factional Chairman of the party.

Bayo Faforiji- led executives dismissed this claim, stating that the Ademola Isola faction is under suspension with the secretary, Jide Awe, by the national leadership of the SDP in Abuja and that the Bayo-led congress was supervised by INEC and national leadership of the party.

The case was struck out following settlement out of court by both parties involved.

8. Politics of zoning
In the lead up to the elections, zoning emerged as a significant factor as there were lots of agitation that power should shift to Osun West Senatorial District.

This is based on the claim that the zone is the most politically marginalised district since the creation of the State in 1991.

The clamour for power shift found its way into the political parties. In particular, in the APC, there was a strong clamour for power to shift to the West. It is also believed that the idea of the direct primary was first introduced in Osun State to defeat the progenitor of zoning. The clamour for zoning in the APC was so loud that twelve out of the seventeen governorship aspirants representing the Osun West jointly addressed a press conference rejecting direct primary and claiming it is to prevent them from emerging as Party candidate in the election.

Elected governors know Osun since 1991.
The zoning agitation has been backed by interest groups and traditional rulers. Towns such as Osogbo and Iwo have claimed marginalisation. For instance, an example is the July rally held by Concerned Iwo Land Youth for Actualization of Iwolokan Agenda.

Late senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, who incidentally is the first executive governor of the state, ruled between January 1992 and November 1993 before his administration was short-lived by the military. He only governed for 22 months.

Bisi Akande followed this from Osun Central, and he spent four years as a Governor. Olagunsoye Oyinlola, also from Osun Central, ruled for seven and a half years while the current governor, who is from Osun East, will relinquish power in November after spending eight years.

As it stands, the PDP candidate Ademola Adeleke, Fatai Akinbade of the ADC, and Adeoti Moshood of the ADP are from Osun West senatorial zone. The APC is fielding Isiaka Oyetola form Osun Central, and Iyiola Omisore of the SDP is from Osun East. It will be interesting to see how this shapes the voting pattern.

9. Vote buying
Indications that Osun polls will be fraught with vote buying, a practice of paying voters to compel them to vote for particular candidates during an election is worrisome.

It has become a hot-button issue ahead of Saturday polls and the 2019 general elections, particularly after cases of vote buying were significantly reported in the recently conducted guber elections in Ekiti state. The two major parties in the election, APC and PDP, were culpable in it with videos showing how money was given to the electorates to influence their votes.

Already, an election observer and monitoring group, the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA Africa) in its pre-election findings, observed that voters’ inducement through the distribution of money and gifts was visible in Osun State.

10. Sixth governorship election in history of Osun State
The success of Saturdays’ polls will mark the sixth governorship election in Osun.

The state was carved out of the old Oyo State on August 27, 1991, by the military regime of Ibrahim Babangida.

The first democratically elected governor of the state, Isiaka Adeleke, took office in January 1992 and governed till November 1993, when the military junta of Mr Babangida dissolved all political offices, after the annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election.

The September 22, 2018 Governorship Election in Osun State would, therefore, be the sixth to be conducted since the creation of the state in 1991.

The poll, to be held by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), will usher in a successor to governor Aregbesola, whose tenure ends on November 6, 2018.

Osun is an off cycle election as a result of a post-election litigation arising from the widely condemned 2007 elections. The election was overturned by a decision of the Court of Appeal sitting in Benin, which saw Mr Aregbesola declared the rightful winner after three years of legal battle.

Source: Premium Times

We Will Overcome Vote Buying, INEC Assures

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured that it would overcome the menace of vote buying, which it described as cancer and a threat to the electoral process. Chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, stated this in Abuja at a voter enlightenment programme, WatchingTheVote Election Series II, put together by the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA), with the theme: “Ending the Scourge of Vote Buying and Selling in Nigerian Elections.”

Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, in a statement issued yesterday, quoted c as saying that the challenge of vote buying was not just worrisome to the commission but also to the entire country.

Yakubu, however, expressed optimism about the commission’s ability to respond appropriately to the problem. He said the hydra-headed problem required the involvement of all stakeholders, including security agencies, political parties, civil society organisations, the media, and the citizens.

Yakubu stated, “We will overcome vote buying, just as we have risen to previous challenges to our electoral processes.

“We all have to come together to address this challenge. The truth is that buyers and sellers know that they are committing illegality, but nobody comes out to say, I am a vote buyer or I am a vote seller.

“Some of the infractions take place at the polling units. Some of them take place outside the polling unit on election day. Some even take place before elections through electronic cash transfer.”

The INEC chairman agreed with other speakers at the event, who attributed the emergence of vote buying to the improvement in the electoral process. He outlined some of the steps the commission had already taken to address the challenge.

According to Yakubu, “For the infractions that happen at the polling units, we are looking at the administration of our polling units such that it will be either impossible or difficult for voters to expose their ballot papers to agents of the vote buyers (for settlement thereafter). We are going to use the Osun governorship election in the next eight days to make a statement on vote buying.

“The second measure is to try to ban the use of some devices (in polling cubicles) that aid vote buying on Election Day, such as the mobile phones.”

Yakubu urged the security agencies to apprehend vote buyers and sellers and cooperate with the commission to prosecute them. He noted that even though the law empowered INEC to prosecute vote buyers, the commission lacked the capacity to arrest and investigate offenders.

Yakubu assured the people of Osun and other Nigerians that only the people’s votes would continue to determine the outcome of elections in the country.

One of the board members of YIAGA, Mr. Ezenwa Nwagwu, said vote buying had always been with the country, stressing, however, that it has gained some ascendancy in conversations now because the country’s elections are getting better.

According to him, “Politicians buy votes because the citizens are now the ones who decide the votes, unlike in the past when materials were taken to the houses of politicians and thumb printed. Now they are bringing the monies to the voting areas and it is important that we deepen on citizens’ engagement on this issue.”

Source: This Day

YIAGA calls for laws to address loopholes in electoral process

YIAGA Africa, a Civil Society Organisation on Friday called for laws to address loopholes in the electoral process especially vote buying.

Executive Director, YIAGA-Africa, Mr Samson Itodo made the call at the Watching the Vote (WTV) Series with the theme “Ending the Scourge of Vote Buying and Selling in Nigerian Elections” in Abuja.

Itodo, while presenting a document on “Duly Elected or Duly Purchased ‘’: a report on vote buying in the Ekiti election, said Nigeria’s democracy was under threat due to vote buying.

According to him, corruption is a societal challenge that manifests in every facet of life in Nigeria.

“It concerns conducts by the giver and the taker of inappropriate inducement as is the case with perpetrators of vote buying.

“Electoral laws must accommodate the various loopholes for corruption in the conduct of elections and see to the discharge of adequate punishment to offenders.’’

Itodo said this had become imperative because competence and character were no longer the parameters for assessing electoral candidates by Nigerians.

He said that cash-for-vote or “see and buy’’ was emerging as the major determinant of electoral choice which could undermine electoral choices and imperil Nigeria’s democracy.

He said that vote buying also had a tendency to aggravate corruption in public offices as those who hold public mandates were made to seek corrupt means of enriching themselves toward elections.

Itodo said that concerned by the emerging trend of see and buy, YIAGA Africa through its WTV project undertook a post-election investigation to examine the factors that facilitated it.

He said the study, which entailed identifying the chain of operation and methods of vote buying before, during and after elections as well as the implication, identified five drivers.

He listed them to be: Poverty and hunger, improved checks and balances in the electoral process by INEC as well as non-payment of workers’ salaries and pensions.

Others included failure of political office holders to fulfil campaign promises and neglect of rural communities in distribution of infrastructure.

The executive director said online transaction, various gifts and food items, suspicious empowerment programmes were some of the methods deployed to purchase votes during the Ekiti election.

He recommended behavioural change as the best measure against vote purchase and other electoral malfeasance.

He also advocated that political positions should be made less attractive by reducing perquisites that awaited successful candidates.

Itodo also called for poverty reduction, a comprehensive war on corruption, restoration of ideological bases for political parties, reversal of rising unemployment and promotion of good governance.

He further suggested improved management of election security, introduction of electronic voting system and enforcement of electoral laws among others

Source: NAN

Duly Elected or Duly Purchased? WatchingTheVote Launches Report on Vote Buying and Selling During Ekiti Guber polls

During the official launch of the report on Vote buying and selling at the Ekiti Governorship Elections, YIAGA AFRICA’s WatchingTheVote called for laws to address loopholes in the electoral process especially vote buying. The report was launched by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu during the WTV election dialogue  Series with the theme “Ending the Scourge of Vote Buying and Selling in Nigerian Elections” in Abuja

While presenting the report titled “Duly Elected or Duly Purchased ‘, YIAGA AFRICA Executive Director, Samson Itodo said, Nigeria’s democracy was under threat due to vote buying and corruption is a societal challenge that manifests in every facet of life in Nigeria.

According to Itodo, Vote buying menace concerns conducts by the giver and the taker of inappropriate inducement as is the case with perpetrators of vote buying.  He said, the electoral laws must accommodate the various loopholes for corruption in the conduct of elections and see to the discharge of adequate punishment to offenders.’’

Itodo said this had become imperative because competence and character were no longer the parameters for assessing electoral candidates by Nigerians. He said that cash-for-vote or “see and buy’’ was emerging as the major determinant of electoral choice which could undermine electoral choices and imperil Nigeria’s democracy.

He said that vote buying also had a tendency to aggravate corruption in public offices as those who hold public mandates were made to seek corrupt means of enriching themselves toward elections.

Also speaking at the event, INEC Chairman Prof Yakubu assured that it would overcome the menace of vote buying, which it described as cancer and a threat to the electoral process.

Yakubu, however, expressed optimism about the commission’s ability to respond appropriately to the problem. He said the hydra-headed problem required the involvement of all stakeholders, including security agencies, political parties, civil society organisations, the media, and the citizens.

Yakubu stated, “We will overcome vote buying, just as we have risen to previous challenges to our electoral processes.

“We all have to come together to address this challenge. The truth is that buyers and sellers know that they are committing illegality, but nobody comes out to say, I am a vote buyer or I am a vote seller.

“Some of the infractions take place at the polling units. Some of them take place outside the polling unit on election day. Some even take place before elections through electronic cash transfer.”

The INEC chairman agreed with other speakers at the event, who attributed the emergence of vote buying to the improvement in the electoral process. He outlined some of the steps the commission had already taken to address the challenge.

According to Yakubu, “For the infractions that happen at the polling units, we are looking at the administration of our polling units such that it will be either impossible or difficult for voters to expose their ballot papers to agents of the vote buyers (for settlement thereafter). We are going to use the Osun governorship election in the next eight days to make a statement on vote buying.

“The second measure is to try to ban the use of some devices (in polling cubicles) that aid vote buying on Election Day, such as the mobile phones.”

Yakubu urged the security agencies to apprehend vote buyers and sellers and cooperate with the commission to prosecute them. He noted that even though the law empowered INEC to prosecute vote buyers, the commission lacked the capacity to arrest and investigate offenders.

YIAGA AFRICA PRE-ELECTION OBSERVATION FINDINGS AND PLANS FOR ELECTION OBSERVATION

YIAGA AFRICA PRE-ELECTION OBSERVATION FINDINGS AND PLANS FOR ELECTION OBSERVATION

Osun State, Nigeria- The period leading to 2018 Governorship election in Osun State remains a politically charged period with several pre-election activities for the 2019 elections underway. With 48 political parties contesting the 22nd September, Osun Governorship election and a total of 1, 682, 495 registered voters, the State presents important political dynamics to look out for especially considering that this is the last off-cycle elections before the 2019 general elections. YIAGA AFRICA under her Watching he vote project has remained one of the election observer groups engaging the election in the State with a pre-election observation which commenced in July 2018. As part of Watching The Vote (WTV) long-term observation effort, WTV Long Term Observers (LTOs) were deployed to all the 30 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Osun state on July 20, 2018 to observe the activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC), voter education campaigns, political party campaigns and activities of marginalized groups. This report is the second in a series of four and covers the period of August 17 to 30, 2018. The results of the analysis of WTV observation are presented in subsequent sections.

Methodology

To achieve the pre-election observation, YIAGA WTV LTO’s are equipped with a checklist to observe and report on the electoral and political environment in the state. All YIAGA WTV LTOs are recruited from the LGAs within which they reside to observe electoral activities relating to voter education, political campaign activities, activities of marginalized groups (youth, women, and PWDs) and election-related violence in the pre-election period. Their reports cover activities of the INEC, political parties, National Orientation Agency (NOA), CSOs, women, youth and people with disabilities. The observers report on their observation findings on a bi-monthly basis via coded text messages to a YIAGA data centre.  Within reporting timeframes, observers also report on early warning signs and critical incidents demanding urgent attention as soon as they happen. YIAGA WTV pre-election observation (PREO) findings are not statistically representative of the entire state but do provide an indication of emerging trends during the pre-election period.

Summary of Findings:

For this reporting period, YIAGA’s WTV findings highlights some similar trends from the previous reporting period. Our findings indicate that:

  1. Voter inducement through the distribution of money and gift items were still visible in the state. It was either directly witnessed or heard of by 52% of the WTV LTOs reporting from 16 of the 30 which include: Boluwaduro, Boripe, Ifedayo, Irepodun, Ila, Ifelodun, Odo-Otin, Olorunda, Osogbo, Ilesha West, Ilesha East,f, Ayedire, Ejbigo, Irewole and Iwo LGAs of Osun state.
  2. Electoral preparatory activities are ongoing in the State with over half (91%) of WTV LTOs reported witnessing election preparatory activities undertaken by INEC in the state. The WTV LTOs were charged with the responsibility of observing INEC’s preparatory activities, including the collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).
  3. Voter education messages targeted at women, youth and PWDs were not witnessed or heard of in Boripe Ila, Ifedayo Irepodun. Odo Otin, Orolu, Olorunda, Osogbo, Atakumosa East, Atakumosa West, Ife East, Ife Central, Ife South, Ife North, Ilesha West, Obokun, Oriade, Ayedaade, Ayedire, Ede South, Ejbigo, Irewole, Iwo and Ola-Oluwa LGAs
  4. Youth, Women and PWD groups are actively engaging the political space through canvassing for votes for political parties and candidates in Boripe, Ifedayo, Ifelodun, Odo-Otin, Orolu, Osogbo, Atakumosa West, Ilesha West, Ilesha East, Ede South, Irewole, Isokan and Iwo LGAs, Boluwaduro, Olorunda, Atakumosa East, Ife East, Ife North, Ife South, Oriade, and Ede South.
  5. Political parties’ campaigns especially, campaigns rallies are increasingly dominating the political space in the state. The dominant political parties in the state based on our observation are the Action Democratic Party (ADP), All Progressive Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) have extended their campaign rallies to more LGAs as compared to the WTV first observation period.

Concerns and Recommendations

  • YIAGA AFRICA calls the attention of all election stakeholders to the growing trend of Voter inducement as observed in the first and second report and remains a worrisome trend especially as we move closer to the Governorship elections. Voter inducement through the distribution of money and gift items was still visible in the state and as stakeholder there is need for more voter education against this trend. All electoral actors should intensify campaign activities to discourage the act of voter bribery in the coming elections as indicators abound.
  • Targeted voter education and messaging should be sustained by both INEC and CSOs. Watching The Vote also urges the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to invest in voter education as it is part of their mandate, under the law.
  • YIAGA -Watching The Vote call on all Parties and their candidates contesting the election to act within the ambits of the law and promote a positive political culture that will enhance our electoral democracy. Parties have the most role to play in curbing the trend of voter inducement and vote buying and promoting peaceful election.
  • YIAGA calls on the good people of Osun state who are yet to collect their PVC’s to take advantage of this window before the election and collect their PVC’s to vote on election day. As indicated by INEC, as of 10th September, 2018, a total of 1,222, 648 PVC’s have been collected while 454,458 PVC’s yet to be collected.

As an organization committed to promoting electoral integrity and active citizen’s engagement during the elections, YIAGA’s Watching the Vote has successfully trained a team of 69 trainers in Osogbo who will be deployed to each of the 30 LGA’s in the State to train the 500 Watching the Vote Polling unit observers and 32 roving observers that will be deployed to observe on Election Day. YIAGA’s Watching The Vote will also be training 30 LGA result collation center observers to be deployed to observe the collation process at the LGA’s. YIAGA will be releasing the next Pre-Election findings on the 18th of September 2018.

The primary goal of the WTV project is to promote credible, free, fair, and peaceful elections in Nigeria as well as building citizen’s confidence in a process that protects the sanctity of their votes. For Election Day observation, Watching the Vote will deploy the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology which uses statistical principles and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to provide systematic data on the quality of Election Day processes while also verifying the accuracy of the official results.

Signed

Cynthia Mbamalu

Project Director

YIAGA AFRICA, Watching the Vote Project

Safiya Bichi

Pre-Election Observation Manager

YIAGA AFRICA, Watching the Vote Project