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.
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.
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
Chair, Watching The Vote Working Group Executive Director, YIAGA AFRICA
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