BY VINCENT UJUMADU
THE Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, a coalition of over 400 civil society groups, is to deploy about 600 observers to all the 21 local government areas of Anambra State during the November 16 governorship election.
TMG chairman, Ibrahim Zikirullahi, who spoke during an advocacy visit to the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Professor Chukwuemeka Onukaogu at the weekend in Awka said that the observers would be trained on how to transmit their information to the TMG headquarters in Abuja from the field for prompt collation on Election Day.
He said that a situation whereby reports of election observers came weeks after the election when somebody would have been declared winner was not acceptable.
“TMG will use a new and innovative approach to citizen non –partisan observation, utilizing statistics and Information and Communication Technologies, ICT. As opposed to the conventional monitoring method, ICT will make it possible to report incidents to the relevant agencies as they happen. It will also make it possible to have pictorial records of incidents.”
According to him, TMG would collaborate with relevant national agencies to ensure that urgent action was taken on incidents reported, adding that any person who engaged in any form of malpractice during the election would be prosecuted.
He observed that from reports so far received in AnambraState, it would appear that politicians have learnt nothing and forgotten nothing, as some of them and their political parties were not prepared to play by the rules.
He regretted that some candidates were inducing the electorate with money and other materials, which, he said contravenes the provisions of the Electoral Act.
He said further: “There is no doubt that Anambra State is a hot spot state whenever there is election. The state has a record of having the highest number of contestants for any elective post and the sheer number of candidates for the forthcoming governorship election poses logistic challenges to INEC.