Group to deploy 541 observers for Ekiti gov poll
March 25, 2022
A board member of Yiaga Africa, Mr Ezenwa Nwagu, said on Thursday that the frontline election monitoring group would deploy 541 election observers to monitor the June 18 governorship poll in Ekiti State.
Nwagu, who said that the high number of personnel deployments was to ensure that the Ekiti votes count, added that the civic non-governmental organisation would also strive to ensure the Independent National Electoral Commission and other state actors aligned with international best practices in conducting the election.
The Yiaga chieftain, who spoke in Ado Ekiti during the Yiaga Africa ‘Watching the Vote’ media roundtable for the Ekiti governorship election in Ado Ekiti, said the organisation would use Parallel Vote Tabulation methodology “to analyse and share timely findings on the conduct of the election in near real-time.”
This, he said, would “allow Yiaga Africa’s WTV to present an accurate and comprehensive assessment of the election processes such as whether election officials comply with the guidelines for the conduct of the election, the presence of security agents, presence and behaviour of party agents, the secrecy of the ballot and transparency of the counting process.”
According to him, the organisation’s objective was “to provide timely and accurate information about the electoral process to voters and stakeholders; to ensure that the citizens’ votes count by deterring fraud and manipulation during the conduct of the elections and collation of results, and to build citizens’ confidence in the elections.”
Nwagu said Nigerians were expecting high ethical conduct in the June 18 Ekiti election in view of the history of the state as one with the highest number of educated people in the country.
He said, “Nigerian democracy is making progress and our role as stakeholders is to continue to inspire confidence in the citizens and let them know that the best form of government is a democracy, despite all the challenges.
If it is about dividends of democracy, the military also provides that. Some of the edifices and infrastructure in the Federal Capital Territory were provided by the military, but we all jumped out of our houses and said we didn’t want them. That is why we must defend this democracy.”
Yiaga Africa Project Manager, Mr James Paul, who described INEC as pivotal and critical to the success of the poll, urged it to be well prepared for the election, saying any infraction from the umpire could mar the process and plunge Ekiti into crisis.
Paul also urged the electorate to resist vote-buying, saying it represented an evil that was currently plaguing good governance and stalling participatory democracy in the country.
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