2019 ELECTION VERIFICATION GRAPHICS

YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote Statement on the 2019 Presidential Election Results

YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote (WTV) today briefed the public on the findings from its parallel vote tabulation: a gold standard citizen observation methodology that employsed statistics and information communication technologies to enable YIAGA AFRICA to provide an independent estimate of the vote shares that each party received within a narrow range. Estimates were based on observations from 3,030 observers carefully deployed in pairs to a random statistical sample of 1,515 polling units. If the official results fell within YIAGA AFRICA’s estimated ranges, then the public, political parties and candidates should have confidence in the ballots cast at the polling units.

Based on reports from 1,491 or 98.4% of sampled polling units YIAGA AFRICA’s findings show that for the presidential election the All Progressive Congress (APC) should receive between 50.0% and 55.8% of the vote; and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) should receive between 41.2% and 47.0% of the vote. These figures are consistent with the official results as announced by INEC. For both APC and PDP the official results fall within the PVT estimated ranges.

“YIAGA AFRICA urges Nigerian voters, political parties, candidates and international stakeholders to have confidence in the just-concluded electoral process and the officially announced results,” said Dr. Hussaini Abdu, Chair of YIAGA AFRICA Watching the Vote.

YIAGA AFRICA also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to provide clarity around two issues that – while they did not affect the overall outcome of the elections – are of pressing concern to the Nigerian people. First, the overall, percentage of cancelled ballots announced by INEC was 3.3% of all registered voters. This figure was four times higher than the rate from 2015 when registered voters in cancelled polling units was less than 1% of all registered votes. Second, YIAGA AFRICA noted discrepancies between the number of registered voters announced prior to the election and the numbers announced during collation and called on INEC to provide an in-depth explanation, including of whether these differences indicated that collation did not conclude in all parts of the country. However, YIAGA AFRICA noted that the PVT data, which projected its estimated vote shares on the basis of the numbers announced at the polling units before any cancelation of results could take place, showed that neither of these issues impacted the outcome of the election.

WatchingTheVote Verification Press Conference

YIAGA AFRICA called upon all political parties, all candidates and the good people of Nigeria to show political maturity and maintain peace in the post-election period. YIAGA AFRICA moreover urged all parties to adhere to legal provisions for filing electoral claims and disputes. Finally, YIAGA AFRICA noted that the challenges experienced during the elections call for a detailed and systematic post-election review to include an inquiry into the cancellation of ballots, an audit of the voter register and a review of the elections operation management systems.

YIAGA AFRICA is a strictly nonpartisan and independent civil society organization without affiliation to any political party, candidate or state agency. YIAGA AFRICA carries out research, capacity development and policy advocacy. YIAGA AFRICA has been involved in election observation since 2007 and it is one of the leading organizations working on elections in Nigeria.

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2019 ELECTION VERIFICATION GRAPHICS

YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote Press Release on the 2019 Presidential Election Results

TRANSCORP HILTON, ABUJA, Nigeria – YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote (WTV) today briefed the public on the findings from its parallel vote tabulation: a gold standard citizen observation methodology that employsed statistics and information communication technologies to enable YIAGA AFRICA to provide an independent estimate of the vote shares that each party received within a narrow range. Estimates were based on observations from 3,030 observers carefully deployed in pairs to a random statistical sample of 1,515 polling units. If the official results fell within YIAGA AFRICA’s estimated ranges, then the public, political parties and candidates should have confidence in the ballots cast at the polling units.

Based on reports from 1,491 or 98.4% of sampled polling units YIAGA AFRICA’s findings show that for the presidential election the All Progressive Congress (APC) should receive between 50.0% and 55.8% of the vote; and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) should receive between 41.2% and 47.0% of the vote. These figures are consistent with the official results as announced by INEC. For both APC and PDP the official results fall within the PVT estimated ranges.

“YIAGA AFRICA urges Nigerian voters, political parties, candidates and international stakeholders to have confidence in the just-concluded electoral process and the officially announced results,” said Dr. Hussaini Abdu, Chair of YIAGA AFRICA Watching the Vote.

YIAGA AFRICA also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to provide clarity around two issues that – while they did not affect the overall outcome of the elections – are of pressing concern to the Nigerian people. First, the overall, percentage of cancelled ballots announced by INEC was 3.3% of all registered voters. This figure was four times higher than the rate from 2015 when registered voters in cancelled polling units was less than 1% of all registered votes. Second, YIAGA AFRICA noted discrepancies between the number of registered voters announced prior to the election and the numbers announced during collation and called on INEC to provide an in-depth explanation, including of whether these differences indicated that collation did not conclude in all parts of the country. However, YIAGA AFRICA noted that the PVT data, which projected its estimated vote shares on the basis of the numbers announced at the polling units before any cancelation of results could take place, showed that neither of these issues impacted the outcome of the election.

YIAGA AFRICA called upon all political parties, all candidates and the good people of Nigeria to show political maturity and maintain peace in the post-election period. YIAGA AFRICA moreover urged all parties to adhere to legal provisions for filing electoral claims and disputes. Finally, YIAGA AFRICA noted that the challenges experienced during the elections call for a detailed and systematic post-election review to include an inquiry into the cancellation of ballots, an audit of the voter register and a review of the elections operation management systems.

YIAGA AFRICA is a strictly nonpartisan and independent civil society organization without affiliation to any political party, candidate or state agency. YIAGA AFRICA carries out research, capacity development and policy advocacy. YIAGA AFRICA has been involved in election observation since 2007 and it is one of the leading organizations working on elections in Nigeria.

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.

WTV Press conference

YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote Statement on Voter Turnout and Results

YIAGA AFRICA undertook the Watching The Vote project to provide Nigerian citizens, presidential candidates, political parties, civil society and INEC with independent information about whether the official results for the February 23, 2019 presidential election truly reflect the ballots cast at polling units. The YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote (WTV) is “Driven by Data – For All Nigerians – Beholden to None!”. On 23 February, 2019, YIAGA AFRICA deployed 3,906 observers throughout the country including 3,030 Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) observers who deployed in pairs to a random, representative statistical sample of 1,515 polling units where they remained throughout the day. With this methodology, YIAGA AFRICA is able independently verify the accuracy of the official presidential election results announced by INEC.

YIAGA AFRICA assures the Nigerian people and stakeholders that, it has received and processed its data from the sampled polling units.

Turnout

YIAGA AFRICA’s preliminary estimates indicate that turnout for the February 23 Presidential Elections will be between 36% and 40% based on official turnout figures collected from the PVT’s representative statistical sample of polling units across the 774 LGAs in the country. If INEC’s official turnout falls within WTV’s estimated range then it accurately reflects the ballots cast at polling units.

Results

Although YIAGA AFRICA currently has a stable estimated range for the election outcome, it is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that has the mandate to announce results. However, based on currently received observer reports, there will be no run-off for the Presidential elections because a clear winner will emerge. YIAGA AFRICA’s PVT shows that no candidate will receive more than 55% of the vote share.

Only INEC, has the legal mandate to announce the election results and return a candidate as a winner. We urge all stakeholders to respect the commission’s constitutional power and refrain from declaring election results. YIAGA AFRICA enjoins citizens to remain calm and maintain the peace as INEC collates the results. YIAGA AFRICA continues to monitor the results collation until the final completion. As soon as INEC announces the official results, YIAGA AFRICA will convene a press conference to share its own statement on the accuracy of the election results.

Dr. Hussaini Abdu                                                                         Samson Itodo
Chair, Watching The Vote Working Group                                  Executive Director, YIAGA AFRICA

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

Moshood Isah WTV

ELECTIONS AND PERENNIAL CHALLENGE OF LOGISTICS AND SECURITY – Moshood Isah

“These were not the elections Nigerians wanted; they were not the elections Nigerians expected; and, most importantly, they were not the elections Nigerians deserved. Our election commission must improve its capacity to deliver credible elections and our political parties must play according to the rules. Failure to do so could fundamentally threaten our democracy”. These are the words of the YIAGA AFRICA’s Watching the Vote Board Chairman at a press conference on the preliminary findings from the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Nigerians continue to ask the questions on when an election can be conducted with a 100 per cent early deployment of materials and zero per cent violence as delays in logistics deployment along with the perennial electoral disruptions reportedly featured in Saturday’s Presidential and National assembly elections. Having been postponed for one week due to logistic reasons, expectations from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies were upped with the believe that everything must have been fixed before the new date.

Delay in deployment of election materials and issues relating to ballot box snatching, attack on polling officials, disruption of election materials seem to remain in constant competition for prominence in virtually every major election in Nigeria. The hydra-headed issues bedeviling Nigeria’s elections always feature even after all stakeholders declare their readiness to ensure the elections are hitch-free. This leaves several questions regarding the competency of agencies responsible for ensuring peaceful and credible elections in the country.

For instance, credible elections data released by arguably the largest movement committed to credible elections, YIAGA AFRICA says as at 12pm on Election Day, at least 110 critical incidents across the country primarily concerning late arrival of election materials to polling units. While electoral officials are expected to be at polling units by 7.30am so that set-up can commence ahead of the 8am commencement of simultaneous accreditation and voting, statistical reports by YIAGA AFRICA’s #WatchingTheVote observers reported that INEC officials arrived at only 31% of polling units as at 7.30am. Furthermore, statistical reports say as at 10:00 am, only 41% of polling units had opened across the country while even as at close to 12pm in the afternoon, INEC has not achieved 100 per cent logistics deployment as statistics say 74% of polling units had opened nationally. This is even trying to overlook the seven percent polling units where YIAGA AFRICA reported that the card reader was not used for accreditation either due to lack of availability or deliberate violation of the electoral guidelines.

In this vein, elections went into the nights in a handful of polling units with apparently no proper preparation for logistics for a conducive environment which leaves the credibility of the process in jeopardy. In addition to logistics challenges is the security issue which has marred Nigeria’s elections overtime. Report has it that at least 90% of polling units recorded presence of security personnel which in itself is not a complete standard when it comes to conducting credible elections as it is expected that security agents will be seen at all close to 120,000 polling units across the country.

But despite the presence of security checkpoints across the country, reports of political thugs moving in motorcycles in Lagos disrupting the process at will leaves a lot to be desired. A lot of questions are being asked on how political thugs accessed polling units, collation centers and registration area centers to either cart away ballot box, destroy election materials and assaulting voters and election materials. Verified reports from media and election observers show that citizens, observers or election officials were harassed, beaten, intimidated or even killed in some states across Nigeria. More so, at the risk of propagating unverified reports, social media footages of injured citizens and burning of electoral materials remain a real cause of security concerns.

It is difficult to understand if security officials deployed at polling units gave way for hoodlums to execute their heinous plans or this was done with the support of security officials as alleged at some quarters. While it remains surprising that the Police Inspector General, Muhammed Adamu confidently reiterated the force readiness to protect every life especially during this period, Nigerians are yet to see major arrests of these electoral offenders.

Recommendations are not always far-fetched but its implementation to the later remains a major challenge the nation has faced overtime. Election and security analysts have called for comprehensive framework for the prosecution of electoral offenders in the country. Unfortunately, just as Nigerians have hardly seen arrest of electoral offenders, it becomes impossible to prosecute them. Thus if heads do not role and people in the position of authority do not account for the happenings in their jurisdictions, then the vicious circle of logistics and security issues will continue to feature in every electoral process.

Moshood Isah is the Media Officer of YIAGA AFRICA

WatchingTheVote Preliminary Press Conference for the 2019 Presidential election

YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote Preliminary Press Statement


Introduction

Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished guests – welcome to the YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote (WTV)’s Preliminary Press Conference on the conduct of the 23 February 2019 presidential election. This briefing is the fourth in a series of planned press conferences to be hosted by YIAGA AFRICA. Our subsequent briefing will hold at the same location and is planned to immediately follow the announcement of official election results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote initiative is Nigeria’s largest non-partisan and independent movement of citizen observers. On 23 February, YIAGA AFRICA deployed 3,906 observers throughout the country including 3,030 parallel vote tabulation (PVT) observers who deployed early in the morning in pairs to a random, representative statistical sample of 1,515 polling units where they remained throughout the day. This methodology enables YIAGA AFRICA to independently verify the accuracy of the official presidential election results announced by INEC.

At this time, YIAGA AFRICA is able to provide statistically valid data about the conduct of the election in the entire country as at 23 February, 2019 — from the opening of polling units through accreditation, voting and counting until the posting of results – and can independently project the vote shares that each candidate should receive within a narrow range. If the official results fall within YIAGA AFRICA’s estimated range, then the public, political parties and candidates should have confidence in the ballots cast at the polling units. Only INEC, however, has the legal mandate to announce the election results. As soon as INEC announces the official results, YIAGA AFRICA will convene a press conference to share its own statement on the accuracy of the election results and will publicize these projections.

YIAGA AFRICA also observed the process of collation in all State Collation Centers and deployed mobile or roving observers to every one of the 774 Local Government Areas to capture critical incidents occurring both within and in the vicinity of polling units.

This Preliminary Statement draws on findings as of 10:00 am on 24 February 2019, with complete observer reports received from 1,399 of the 1,515 sampled polling units or 92% of polling units reporting. The following data will be updated as additional reports are received from WTV observers at sampled polling units. What follows is a systematic assessment of four important process-related issues: accreditation and voting, counting of ballots, announcement of results and posting of results. This is the summary of the findings and the complete PVT findings are included as an Appendix.

Preliminary Findings

The 23 February presidential election was characterized by many of the same shortcomings that have marred previous national elections in Nigeria. As in past elections, INEC’s logistical challenges and misconduct by political parties undermined the integrity of elections and the ability of some citizens to vote. These issues do not necessarily undermine the overall credibility of the process, but Nigeria missed an opportunity to improve the quality of its elections as compared to 2015 national elections. These were not the elections Nigerians wanted; they were not the elections Nigerians expected; and, most importantly, they were not the elections Nigerians deserved. Our election commission must improve its capacity to deliver credible elections and our political parties must play according to the rules. Failure to do so could fundamentally threaten our democracy.

YIAGA AFRICA also received reports from 16 polling units, approximately 1 percent of the sample, where voting did not hold or was disrupted before it could be concluded on 23 February 2019. Eight of these polling units were in Rivers State (see Appendix II).

1) Summary of Watching the Vote Findings on Polling Unit Set-Up and Opening

On 23 February 2019, YIAGA AFRICA released comprehensive data on polling unit opening and set-up in a Mid-Day Situational Statement and Press Statement on Polling Unit Set-Up.  These are both available through the YIAGA AFRICA Watching the Vote website.

Of note, despite the announced one week election delay and the assurances by the Electoral Commission on the eve of the elections that all was set for the elections, polling units opened late throughout the country. As of 7:30 am, YIAGA AFRICA WTV observers reported that INEC Officials had arrived at 31% of polling units. As of 10:00 am, 41% of polling units had opened across the country. By 11:30 am, 74% of polling units had opened nationally. As was the case in 2011 and 2015, polling units in the South East and South South opened later than in other geopolitical zones. At 11:30 am, YIAGA AFRICA WTV observers reported that 74% of polling units had opened as of 11:30 am.

Election materials were present in 86% of polling units, specifically, Smart Card Readers were present in 99% of polling units. Polling officials in 94% of polling units adhered to new INEC guidelines to demonstrate that no voters had been accredited by the Smart Card Reader at the time of opening. As at 12:00 noon, WTV Observers reported that the Smart Card Reader was functioning and in use in 96% of polling units.

During the set-up and opening of polling units African Democratic Congress (ADC) party agents were seen at 23% of polling units, All Progressives Congress (APC) party agents were seen at 98% of polling units, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) party agents were seen at 99% of polling units, and Social Democratic Party (SDP) agents at 23% of polling units.

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WatchingTheVote Preliminary Press Conference for the 2019 Presidential election

YIAGA AFRICA WatchingTheVote Preliminary Statement on the 2019 Presidential Election

Press Release

YIAGA AFRICA on 24 February 2019 presented its preliminary findings on the conduct of the 23 February presidential election to the Nigerian public and assembled media.

According to YIAGA AFRICA , the 23 February presidential election was characterized by many of the same shortcomings that have marred previous national elections in Nigeria. As in past elections, INEC’s logistical challenges resulted in late opening in 59% of polling units that, together with instances of misconduct by political parties in some polling units, compromised the ability of some citizens to vote and undermined public confidence in the process. These issues do not necessarily undermine the overall credibility of the process, according to YIAGA AFRICA, but Nigeria missed an opportunity to improve the quality of its elections.

“These were not the elections Nigerians wanted; they were not the elections Nigerians expected; and, most importantly, they were not the elections Nigerians deserved. Our election commission must improve its capacity to deliver credible elections and our political parties must play according to the rules. Failure to do so could fundamentally threaten our democracy,” said Chair of the WTV Working Group Dr. Hussaini Abdu.

Despite the one week delay, YIAGA AFRICA noted that INEC continued to experience significant logistical challenges on 23 February that resulted in late opening of polling units. YIAGA AFRICA’s Watching the Vote findings showed that polling units opened late throughout the country with only 41% of polling units open as at 10:30 am and with polling units in the South South and South East opening later than polling units in other geopolitical zones. Once polling units opened, most polling units had essential election materials. Smart Card Readers were present in 99% of polling units and were largely used throughout accreditation and voting. However, YIAGA AFRICA is concerned by tally sheet data gathered from its observers indicating that nearly half of voters may have voted with the Smart Card Reader authenticating only their Permanent Voters Card and not their fingerprints. YIAGA AFRICA also notes that counting procedures were not rigorously adhered to in all polling units, and registers with particular concern that results were not publicly posted at the polling unit in 19% of polling units. Finally, YIAGA AFRICA noted that its preliminary estimates for voter turnout indicate that turnout will be lower than in 2015.

YIAGA AFRICA employed the parallel vote tabulation (PVT) methodology – the gold standard for citizen observation. On 23 February WTV deployed 3,030 observers to a representative statistical sample of 1,515 polling units, 46 observers to 23 voting points,and 822 mobile observers located in all 774 LGAs. This strategy enables YIAGA AFRICA to provide timely and accurate information on accreditation, voting, and counting as well as to independently verify the official results of the presidential election as announced by INEC. Immediately after INEC announces the official results for the presidential election, YIAGA AFRICA will hold its own press conference and issue its statement publicizing its independent estimates of the election results. If the announced results reflect the ballots cast at polling units, then we will confirm the outcome. If the announced results have been manipulated and do not match the results posted at polling units, then YIAGA AFRICA will expose this.

YIAGA AFRICA is a non-profit civic hub of changemakers building democratic societies in Africa anchored on the principles of inclusion, justice, rule of law and accountability. The Watching The Vote project is “Driven by Data – For All Nigerians – Beholden to None!

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

Polling Unit Set up and Accreditation

YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote Press Statement on Set-Up of Polling Units



Introduction

This morning, YIAGA AFRICA deployed 3,906 observers throughout the country to every state and all 774 local government areas (LGAs). This is inclusive of the 3,030 parallel vote tabulation (PVT) observers deployed in pairs to a random, representative statistical sample of 1,515 polling units. This deployment will enable YIAGA AFRICA to independently verify the accuracy of the official presidential election results when they are announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). This statement builds on findings from YIAGA AFRICA’s Mid-Day Situational Statement released at 12:00 pm 23 February 2019, which principally noted widespread late opening of polling units throughout the country.

Watching the Vote Polling Unit Set-Up Findings

This report update on Polling Unit Setup contains initial findings as at 2:00 pm on election day, with complete reports received from 1,127 of the 1,515 sampled polling units. The following data will be updated as additional reports are received from WTV observers at sampled polling units. What follows is a systematic information on the setup of polling units:

  1. 83% of polling units had four or more polling officials present. 21% of polling units had no female polling officials present, 31% of polling units had one female polling official present, 31% of polling units had two female polling officials present, 13% of polling units had three female polling officials present and 4% of polling units had four female polling officials present.
  2. In addition, 90% of polling units recorded presence of security personnel.
  3. Smart Card Readers were present in 99% of polling units. Moreover, polling officials in 94% of polling units adhered to new INEC guidelines to demonstrate that no voters had been accredited by the Smart Card Reader at the time of opening. As at 12:00 noon, WTV Observers reported that the Smart Card Reader was functioning and in use in 96% of polling units.
  4. According to tally sheet data collected by WTV Observers deployed to track the process of accreditation for each voter in the sampled polling units, the Smart Card Reader both authenticated the fingerprints and read the Permanent Voters Card of approximately five out of ten voters, the Smart Card Reader read the Permanent Voters Card (but did not authenticate the fingerprints) of approximately four out of ten voters, and approximately one in ten voters were either permitted to vote without use of the Smart Card Reader or were not permitted to vote.
  5. All essential materials (register of voters, indelible ink/marker pen, polling official stamp, voting cubicle, ink pad, presidential ballot box and polling unit booklet) were present in 86% of polling units. 100% of polling units had a register of voters, 96% of polling units had indelible ink/marker pen, 99% of polling units had an official stamp, 94% of polling units had a voting cubicle, 98% of polling units had an ink pad in the voting cubicle and 99% of polling units had a polling unit booklet.
  6. ADC party agents were seen at 23% of polling units, APC party agents were seen at 98% of polling units, PDP at 99% of polling units, and SDP at 23% of polling units.
  7. 93% of polling units were set up to preserve the secrecy of the ballot.
  8. 46% of polling units had Braille ballot guides to accommodate voters with visual disabilities, while PWD Poster EC.30E with written instructions for voters with hearing impairments was posted in 81% of polling units.
  9. As at 12 pm, YIAGA AFRICA WTV Observers reported that INEC polling officials had conducted themselves professionally and in a non-partisan manner in 95% of polling units while deployed security agents had conducted themselves in a professional and non-partisan manner in 90% of polling units.
  10. As at 12 pm, YIAGA AFRICA WTV Observers reported that political party agents had attempted to influence voters or INEC poll officials in 13% of polling units.

Critical Incidents

  1. Snatching of Election materials: YIAGA AFRICA received reports of snatching of election materials in the following locations;
    1. Armed men snatched ballot boxes and election materials at PU 003 ward 1 of Emohuma LGA, Rivers
    1. Snatching of ballot materials in PU 014, Ward 09, Agookota Oshodi/Isho LGA, in Lagos State
    1. Snatching of ballot box in PU 011,Ward 24, PU 002 Ward 20 in Sulurele LGA, Lagos state
    1. Snatching of Ballot box in PU 009, ward 05, Ilaje LGA, Ondo state
  2. Intimidation, Assault and harassment were observed in the following locations:
  3. Intimidation was reported PU 011,Ward 24, PU 002 Ward 20 in Sulurele LGA, Lagos state
  4. Massive harassment of voters by thugs in PU 015, Ward 07, Doguwa LGA, Kano state
  5. YIAGA AFRICA WTV observers were beaten at PU 005, ward 07, Obgaru, Anambra state. Materials were reported to be destroyed as well.
  6. Physical attack of INEC officials and WTV observers in PU 002, ward 05 of Dekina LGA, Kogi state.
  7. Vote buying

Vote buying was reported in PU 005, ward 01 in Tai LGA of Rivers state, PU 005, ward 02, Idah  LGA of Kogi state.

  • Destruction of election material in PU 005, Adumu Egume ward of Dekina LGA, Kogi state
  • Missing materials: Election material were missing in the morning in Ngorokpala LGA of Imo state, which led to no election in ward 06, 10, and 11. Upon investigation the SPO and EO were discovered to be involved in the process and were arrested by the police. This was confirmed by INEC officials in the State.
  • Killings: Unknown gunmen shot a young boy at the point of snatching ballot boxed in PU 006, Ajetachi ward of Ayingba Dekina LGA, Kogi state.

In view of the foregoing, YIAGA AFRICA WTV makes the following preliminary recommendations:

Preliminary Recommendations

  1. Procedures for Polling Units Not Open by 2 pm: YIAGA AFRICA commends INEC on its extension of voting hours in line with our earlier recommendation. YIAGA AFRICA notes, however, that – as at 2:00 pm – polling units in some parts of the country were still not open. YIAGA AFRICA calls on INEC to provide clear guidelines and directives on the fate of voters in polling units where elections did not start as at 2:00pm. YIAGA AFRICA reiterates its earlier recommendation that INEC take all necessary steps to ensure that voters are enfranchised.
  2. Accreditation: YIAGA AFRICA views positively tally data gathered from WTV Observers suggesting that the Smart Card Reader has either authenticated both the Permanent Voters Card and fingerprints or the Permanent Voters Card of approximately 9 in 10 voters in sampled polling units. YIAGA AFRICA again calls on INEC to continue to ensure that polling officials strictly adhere to the electoral guidelines on accreditation and voting across board – including proper use of the Smart Card Reader – even as voting may continue until late afternoon or evening.
  3. Conduct of Political Party Agents: YIAGA AFRICA urges deployed political party agents to remain until the conclusion of voting and counting and to conduct themselves professionally at the polling units. Party leadership should take action to appropriately sanction agents found to be unduly influencing voters or poll officials while deployed.
  4. Security Agents: YIAGA AFRICA calls on all deployed security agents to provide speedy response to critical incidents especially the reports of violent disruption of the process and destruction of election materials in some polling units.  We also encourage the security personnel to remain professional and non-partisan while on duty.
  5. Accessibility of Polling Units: YIAGA AFRICA commends INEC for integrating innovations into the electoral process – notably the Braille ballot guide and PWD poster EC.30E – that are designed to enhance polling unit accessibility for persons with disability. YIAGA AFRICA encourages INEC to further mainstream these innovations for future elections so that they can be made more widely available to voters with disability throughout the country.
  6. Accessibility to Collation Centres: YIAGA AFRICA calls on both INEC and Security personnel to facilitate access of accredited observers, media and party agents to the collation centres.

Conclusion

By Sunday morning, YIAGA AFRICA will be able to provide statistically valid data about the conduct of the election in the entire country — from the opening of polling units through accreditation and voting and the posting of results – and will be able to project the vote shares that each candidate should receive within a narrow range. If the official results fall within YIAGA AFRICA’s estimated ranges, then the public, political parties and candidates should have confidence in the ballots cast at the polling units.

YIAGA AFRICA undertook the Watching The Vote project to provide Nigerian voters, presidential candidates, political parties, civil society and INEC with independent information about whether the official results for the 23 February 2019 presidential election truly reflect the ballots cast at polling units. The Watching The Vote project is “Driven by Data – For All Nigerians – Beholden to None!

YIAGA AFRICA reiterates its earlier calls to voters to remain patient and vigilant to ensure their votes count and to INEC to swiftly redress logistical challenges as well as provide regular, timely communication around any adjustments to the election procedures related to the delayed opening of polling units this morning. Watching The Vote 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 and counting on Sunday 27 February at 11:30 am in the Watching the Vote National Data Center at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja.

Thank you and God Bless the people of Nigeria!

Dr. Hussaini Abdu

Chair, YIAGA AFRICA

Samson Itodo

Executive Director

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.



WTV Mid day Situation Press Conference

Watching The Vote Mid-day Situational Press Statement for 2019 Presidential Elections


(as of 12 noon Saturday 23 February 2019)

Introduction

Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished guests – welcome to the YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote (WTV)’s Mid-day Situational Press Statement on the ongoing Presidential Election. This briefing is the third in a series of planned press conferences to be hosted by YIAGA AFRICA. This statement will contain detailed statistics covering critical aspects on the commencement of the 23 February polls. YIAGA AFRICA will be releasing further reports containing detailed statistics on the set-up, accreditation and voting and counting. As soon as INEC announces the official results, YIAGA AFRICA will follow up with a press conference to share its own statement on the accuracy of the election results and will independently be able to project the vote shares that each candidate should receive within a narrow range. If the official results fall within YIAGA AFRICA’s estimated ranges, then the public, political parties and candidates should have confidence in the ballots cast at the polling units.

This morning, YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote deployed 3,906 observers throughout the country to every state and all 774 local government areas (LGAs). These includes 3,030 parallel vote tabulation (PVT) observers who deployed in pairs to a random, representative statistical sample of 1,515 polling units where they will remain throughout the day. This deployment will enable YIAGA AFRICA to independently verify the accuracy of the official presidential election results when they are announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). YIAGA AFRICA also deployed mobile or roving observers to all the 774 Local Government Areas to capture critical incidents occurring both within and in the vicinity of polling units across the country and will also observe the process of collation in all State Collation Centres.

YIAGA AFRICA undertook the Watching The Vote project to provide Nigerian voters, presidential candidates, political parties, civil society and INEC with independent information about whether the official results for the 23 February 2019 presidential election truly reflect the ballots cast at polling units. The Watching The Vote project is “Driven by Data – For All Nigerians – Beholden to None!

Watching the Vote Mid-day Findings

This Mid-Day Situational Statement contains initial finding as of 11:30 am on election day, with reports received from 1,439 of the 1,515 sampled polling units. The following data will be updated as additional reports are received from WTV observers at sampled polling units. What follows is systematic information on the opening and setup of polling units.

1.      As of 7:30 am, YIAGA AFRICA WTV observers reported that INEC Officials had arrived at 31% of polling units. However, arrival rates varied by geopolitical zone. YIAGA AFRICA WTV observers reported that INEC poll officials were present by 7:30 am in 34% of polling units in North Central zone, 42% of polling units in North East zone, 37% of polling units in North West, 21% of polling units in South East zone, 19% of polling units in South South zone and 33% of polling units in South West zone.

2.    By 10:00 am, 41% of polling units had opened across the country.  Opening rates again varied by geopolitical zone. YIAGA AFRICA WTV observers reported that 44% of polling units in North Central zone, 47% of polling units in North East zone, 46% of polling units in North West, 27% of polling units in South East zone, 21% of polling units in South South zone and 52% of polling units in South West zone had opened as of 10:00 am.

3.    By 11:30 am, 74% of polling units had opened nationally; however, opening rates continued to vary by geopolitical zone. YIAGA AFRICA WTV observers reported that 76% of polling units in North Central zone, 83% of polling units in North East zone, 74% of polling units in North West, 61% of polling units in South East zone, 58% of polling units in South South zone and 86% of polling units in South West zone had opened as of 11:30 am.

As of 12:00 am, the YIAGA AFRICA WTV Data Center had also received 110 verified critical incident reports primarily concerning the late opening of polls.  Of additional note:

  1. Arrest and detention of accredited observers: In Kafanchan, the YIAGA AFRICA supervisor was arrested and detained at the Kafanchan Area command in Kaduna state this was however resolved as the observer was later released.
  2. Observers not allowed to observe: YIAGA AFRICA received reports from one polling unit in Yobe State, Machina Local Government Area, Damai Ward where observers were denied access to the polling unit to observe. YIAGA AFRICA is in contact with local authorities and continues to follow the situation closely.
  3. Snatching of Election Materials: election materials were reported to be snatched by unknown persons at the RAC centre in Okrika LGA, River state which led to no voting in ward 06, 07, 08 and 09 of Okrika LGA in Rivers State. This was also reported in PU 003 ward 10 Emohua LGA, Rivers state.
  4. Vote buying: reports of vote buying in PU 010/01/10/13 Omala LGA in Kogi state.

In view of the foregoing, YIAGA AFRICA WTV makes the following preliminary recommendations:

Preliminary Recommendations

1.  Extension of voting hours: YIAGA AFRICA calls on INEC to extend the voting period across board to ensure that all eligible voters exercise their franchise. Voting is expected to ordinarily be conducted from 8am to 2pm, which is approximately 6 hours of voting. In view of the late opening of polls, INEC should ensure clear communication on an extension of the time for close of polls to all polling officials and the public.

2.    Speedy resolution of logistical challenges: YIAGA AFRICA urges INEC to resolve identified logistical challenges in a timely manner to ensure a smooth process and to ensure that all polling units open before 2pm to avoid a second day of voting. This is also important to ensure that there are no further delays at the point of collation. INEC needs to address issues relating to missing names on the voters register and non payment of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) drivers who were expected to support the deployment of election materials and personnel to polling stations. 

3.    Ensure quality and transparency of the results collation process: From all indications, YIAGA AFRICA expects that collation of results will occur at night. To this end, collation centres should be provisioned with adequate lighting facilities and calculators to avoid computational inaccuracies that could undermine the integrity of the elections.

4.       Independent Observation: INEC is encouraged to remind Resident Electoral Commissioners to instruct all election officials under their supervision to allow accredited citizen observers to access polling units in accordance with the electoral law. This includes instruction to the security personnel to allow the free movement of accredited observers.

5.       Adherence to Electoral Guidelines: With the late commencement of polls, YIAGA AFRICA calls on INEC to ensure that polling officials strictly adhere to the electoral guidelines on accreditation and voting across board. This includes ensuring that there is no attempt to speed up the process of accreditation — proper application of the Smart Card Reader to accredit voters must continue throughout the country.

6.   Conduct of Party Agents: Political party agents deployed to the polling units should remain through the voting and counting processes and should continue to conduct themselves in a professional manner, including showing respect for the right of citizen observers to observe the process.

Conclusion

YIAGA AFRICA commends the Nigerian people for their resilience and commitment to vote in this election. We urge voters to remain patient and vigilant to ensure their votes count. We call on voters who are yet to turn out to vote to proceed to their polling units before 2pm confident that the PVT will provide timely, statistically representative information about the conduct of the election as well as an independent check on the accuracy of the officially announced results. YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote will continue to observe the process to 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 plans to issue a preliminary statement on the conduct of accreditation, voting and counting on Sunday 24 February at 10:00 am in the Watching the Vote National Data Center at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja. You are all kindly invited to join us at this time. WTV appeals to INEC, all security agents, political party candidates and their supporters as well as all Nigerian people to work together to ensure that the Election is credible and peaceful.

Thank you and God Bless the people of Nigeria!

Dr. Hussaini Abdu
Chair, YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote

Itodo Samson
Executive Director

For media inquiries please contact:

Moshood Isah
Communication OfficerYIAGA AFRICATel. +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.orgor on Twitter @YIAGA.

WTV PRESS CONFERENCE ON INEC PREPAREDNESS FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

YIAGA AFRICA WATCHING THE VOTE STATEMENT ON INEC’S PREPAREDNESS FOR THE RESCHEDULED ELECTIONS AND WTV DEPLOYMENT PLAN

Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished guests – welcome to the YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote (WTV)’s Press Conference on INEC’s preparedness for the elections and WTV observation plans for the presidential election on 23 February 2019. This briefing is the second in a series of planned press conferences to be hosted by YIAGA AFRICA. We’d like to specially invite you to join us at the same location on Saturday 23 February 2019 when YIAGA AFRICA will share its mid-day situational statement on the opening of polls and on Sunday 24 February 2019 at 10:00 am when YIAGA AFRICA will share its preliminary statement on the conduct of the February 23 election. This statement will contain detailed statistics covering all aspects of the 23 February polls including accreditation, voting, counting and posting of results. As soon as INEC announces the official results, YIAGA AFRICA will follow up with a press conference to share its own statement on the accuracy of the election results and will publicize these projections.

INEC Preparedness for the rescheduled elections

On Saturday February 16, 2019, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the Presidential and National Assembly elections due to logistical challenges it encountered in deploying sensitive election materials to states. Consequently, the commission issued a modified timetable and scheduled of activities detailing a new operational plan as follows;

S/No. Activity Timeframe
1. Completion/confirmation of deployment of materials Monday 18th February 2019
2. Configuration of the Smart Card Readers Sunday 17th – Thursday 21st February 2019
3. Receipt and Deployment of sensitive materials to LGAs Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st February 2019
4. Refresher training for ad hoc staff Thursday 21st February 2019
5. Deployment of personnel to RACs Friday 22nd February 2019
6. Election Day Saturday 23rd February 2019

As mentioned in our previous statement, YIAGA AFRICA considers the perennial postponement of elections due to logistical hiccups as a setback for our democracy. Nigeria needs a national conversation on a new electoral design or framework that responds to prevailing socio-political and economic realities. It’s our considered opinion that the decision to postpone the election was taken in the interest of our democracy, however, it may have adverse effect on the integrity of the elections.

Following the postponement, YIAGA AFRICA deployed her observers in the 774 LGAs to monitor the implementation of INEC’s reviewed election logistical plan. The observers undertook visits to INEC’s state and local government offices as well as Central Bank offices in the states. Our findings indicate that INEC is implementing the activities outlined in the operational plan. WTV observers reported retrieval of materials from the LGAs to the Central bank and reconfiguration of Smart Card Readers across the country. Following our observation, YIAGA AFRICA notes the following;

  1. Openness of INEC: YIAGA AFRICA commends the commitment of INEC to sharing information with stakeholders through the daily briefing by the INEC Chairman. This daily briefing has availed citizens with adequate information on INEC’s preparations. INEC should maintain this briefing throughout the 2019 elections and it should be replicated at the State and local government by Resident Electoral Commissioners and Electoral Officers. INEC must ensure a high degree of transparency at all levels. However, reports received by YIAGA AFRICA indicates that some Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) and Electoral Officers (EO) are reluctant to share information with relevant stakeholders on the state of INEC’s preparedness for the elections.
  • Deployment of Election Material: YIAGA AFRICA is concerned with reports of shortfalls in sensitive and non-sensitive materials like results sheets, stamps and indelible ink.  We are also worried with reported cases of mistakes in the deployment of materials to some states. To avert confusion and crisis, INEC needs to ensure a comprehensive open and inclusive audit of retrieved materials. Where materials have been wrongly deployed to states, INEC should ensure the materials are redeployed. In the event of shortfalls, INEC should engage local vendors to print materials to address reported cases of shortfalls.
  • Violence, Hate Speech and Misinformation:YIAGA AFRICA notes a surge in the propagation of hate speech, fake news and misinformation following the postponement of the election. This portends great danger to peace and national security. Electoral stakeholders especially candidates and political party leaders should refrain from heating up the polity as Nigeria is on a fringe of a potential electoral conflict if caution is not exercised.
  • Election Security: Security agencies should exercise their functions within constitutional limits. The rights of citizens must be respected before, during and after the elections. YIAGA AFRICA reminds all security agencies involved in election security operations that the 2010 Electoral Act as amended prescribes electoral offences and sanctions. Therefore, it will be unconstitutional and a disregard of the rule of law to invoke sanctions not prescribed by law for electoral offences.

YIAGA AFRICA and Watching The Vote Observation of the 2019 Presidential Election

YIAGA AFRICA is a strictly nonpartisan and independent civil society organization without affiliation to any political party, candidate or state agency. YIAGA AFRICA’s Watching The Vote effort includes volunteers representing Nigeria’s diversity: women and men, youth and the elderly, persons with disability, Muslims and Christians from the six geo-political zones. YIAGA AFRICA’s observers have all been carefully selected and extensively trained in accordance with strict criteria to ensure their independence and neutrality, are properly accredited with INEC and have signed a project Code of Conduct to uphold standards of impartiality, objectivity and professionalism. YIAGA AFRICA observes on behalf of all Nigerian people and speaks in their name on the basis of verified data. YIAGA AFRICA will deploy a parallel vote tabulation or PVT. Findings are from a statistical sample of polling units located in all 774 LGAs that is truly representative of the entire country and therefore provide unbiased information on the overall conduct of the presidential election and the accuracy of the results.

YIAGA AFRICA conducts comprehensive observation of elections. In the pre-election period, YIAGA AFRICA deployed 822 Long Term Observers (LTOs) in all 774 Local Government Areas (LGA) of Nigeria. These citizen observers monitored political developments and preparations for the general elections over a four months period. For the Presidential election, YIAGA AFRICA will deploy a total of 3,906 observers throughout the country. This comprises 3,076 stationary PVT observers deployed to a random representative statistical sample of 1,515 polling units and 23 voting points; 822 roving observers; and 8 Working Group members who run real time election analysis. YIAGA AFRICA will also deploy observers to the State Collation Centres in every state. Our observers will observe the entire election day process from setup of the polling units through the announcement and posting of the official results and will send in periodic reports to the Watching the Vote National Data Centre located in the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja where they will be processed and analyzed.

This deployment will enable YIAGA AFRICA to provide the most timely and accurate information on the opening of polls; the conduct of accreditation and voting; and the counting, announcement and posting of results throughout the country. Based on reports from its observers in the sampled polling units YIAGA AFRICA will also provide an independent projection of voter turnout and will be able to project the vote shares that each party should receive within a narrow range. If the official results fall within YIAGA AFRICA’s estimated ranges, then the public, political parties and candidates should have confidence in the ballots cast at the polling units. Only INEC, however, has the legal mandate to announce the election results. As soon as INEC announces the official results, YIAGA AFRICA will follow up with a final press conference to share its own statement on the accuracy of the election results and will publicize these projections.

Utilizing information communications technology and statistical principles, PVT is the gold standard for citizen election observation, and has been utilized throughout Africa and the world. In recent elections in Africa, the conduct of parallel vote tabulations by nonpartisan citizen organizations has bolstered citizen confidence and provided credible, independent estimates of presidential election results in Zimbabwe (2018), Kenya (2017), Ghana (2016), Zambia (2016 and 2015), Côte d’Ivoire (2015) and Burkina Faso (2015). YIAGA AFRICA has also deployed this methodology for recent off-cycle gubernatorial elections in Nigeria, including: Osun (2018), Ekiti (2018), Anambra (2017) and Ondo (2016).

On election day YIAGA AFRICA expects to receive more than 33,000 observer reports containing over 500,000 unique pieces of information on the process and results of the election. Over 94 data clerks as well as a team of data analysts will work tirelessly throughout February 23 and 24 to process, analyze and verify these reports at the Watching the Vote National Data Center located on Floor 02 of the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja. On 23 February, the Watching The Vote National Data Center will open promptly at 6:30 am and will remain open until counting has finished at all sampled polling units and all YIAGA AFRICA citizen observers have sent in their observation reports. The WTV National Data Center is open to the public and media at all times. Throughout election day, YIAGA AFRICA will provide timely updates on the conduct of the election based on the near real-time reports from its observers. These will include press conferences at the WTV National Data Center to share a mid-day situational statement on 23 February 2019 and a press conference on the morning after (Sunday February 24) to share preliminary data on the process. YIAGA AFRICA will share regular post on social media including YIAGA AFRICA’s Facebook page – facebook.com/yiaga.org and through YIAGA AFRICA’s Twitter handle @YIAGA.

YIAGA AFRICA undertook the Watching The Vote project to provide Nigerian voters, presidential candidates, political parties, civil society and INEC with independent information about whether the official results for the 23 February 2019 presidential election truly reflect the ballots cast at polling units. The Watching The Vote project is “Driven by Data – For All Nigerians – Beholden to None!”

Conclusion

YIAGA AFRICA is fully prepared to observe the rescheduled 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections. To that end, we invite the assembled guests to accompany us now on a tour of the WTV National Data Center where a live simulation exercise is currently underway to test the readiness of our observer network to observe and the functionality of our data management systems. At present, all 3,076 PVT observers are sending in practice reports based on an election day scenario, which will be duly processed by the data clerks and data analysis teams. YIAGA AFRICA stands ready to observe the presidential elections on behalf of all Nigerians and to ensure that the people’s votes are accurately counted. YIAGA AFRICA calls on the citizens of Nigeria, the parties and candidates, INEC and the forces of law and order to also play their parts to ensure a peaceful, credible and inclusive process. YIAGA AFRICA calls on every eligible voter to get ready with their permanent voter’s card (PVC) and come out in their number to exercise their civic responsibilities and vote.

Thank you and God Bless the people of Nigeria!

Dr. Hussaini Abdu
Chair, Watching The Vote Working Group

Samson Itodo
Executive Director, YIAGA AFRICA

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.

Welcome to WTV PVT National Data Center for 2019 Presidential elections

2019 Polls: Welcome to #WatchingTheVote Parallel Vote Tabulation National Data Center

In Nigeria, the largest citizen movement committed to credible elections has set-up a huge Parallel Vote Tabulation National data center for the 2019 Presidential election. The aim according to the Project Director, Cynthia Mbamalu is to provide accurate and timely elections data, verifying accuracy of elections result and building citizens’ confidence in the process.

The Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology is a proven Election Day observation procedure that allows non-partisan citizen observers to observe the election process using Information Communication Technology and Statistics. The PVT enables citizen observers to provide accurate and timely information on arrival of polling officials, commencement of accreditation and voting, functionality of card reader, counting of ballots and announcement of results.

Watching The Vote Data Clerks

Citizen Observers send their observation reports to the WTV database via coded text messages, which only the database can read. This largest citizen movement has used this method to observe series of elections since 2016 and now the stage is set for a bigger one.

Located at the Rivers Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, in the Federal Capital Territory is the YIAGA AFRICA’s Watching The Vote Parallel Vote Tabulation National Data Center, which has been a beehive of activities on the 2019 election observation mission. Both local and international observers are on a visiting spree to see how these inspired set of Nigerians operate.


Data Clerks checking the Database for due diligence

This is really some great work”, Former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said after a tour of the YIAGA AFRICA’s #WatchingTheVote Parallel Vote Tabulation National Data center ahead of #NigeriaDecides2019. Former President of Botswana, Festus Moghae along with other officials of the election observation mission of ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions, were also thrilled during their tour of the center ahead of the Presidential elections.


Members of ECONEC election observation mission for the 2019 elections

The WTV PVT Data Center is made up of various sections. The Media Center is where the team organizes Press conferences to share findings from the pre-election environment, election observation deployment plan and other timely information for the public. The lounge is treated with banners containing election statistics like the total number of registered voters and zonal distribution of registered voters.  The breakdown of polling units and voting points for the general elections with zonal distribution of polling units and voting points are also visibly crested on the wall for information.


Former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during tour of WTV data center


Visuals from the WTV Lounge shows visitors reading publications like the Pre-election Observation reports, Newsletters, Press statements, reports and samples of Polling Units. Just at the right angle of the lounge, quality voter education videos on how the PVT has been used to observe and verify accuracy of elections in the recent past are shown on a TV screen.

Having deployed 3906 observers across all Local Government Areas in Nigeria, the data center is made up of at least 82 professionally trained data clerks who call observers across Nigeria to make due diligence on information received. Thrice before the elections, a simulation was conducted where observers send in practice SMS using a scenario that could play out on elections day. The simulation according to Training Manager, Paul James enables the data clerks to update their knowledge of the observers and also enables the team to update the database ahead of elections day.

Welcome to WTV Data Center

On Election Day, data clerks will take shifts from as early as 6am, when the polling unit officials kick off the voting process across the 774 local government areas in Nigeria, till dawn, when the INEC official results are finally announced to the public. The data clerks, 3906 observers and the WTV team at the National Data Center in Transcorp will be responsible for the Parallel Voters’ Tabulation result estimate that will also be announced on elections day.