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Osun election: Group to deploy 561 Observers

The Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA-Africa), on Friday in Abuja said it would deploy 561 observers ahead of the Osun governorship election to monitor pre-election environment and the election.

A statement by Mr Moshood Isah, the Media officer, YIAGA Africa, said the group’s “WatchingTheVote (WTV) project’’ was making adequate arrangement to monitor the election effectively.

According to Isah, the group is holding meetings with stakeholders, especially the media in Osun state to discuss its election observation deployment plan for the Sept. 22 governorship poll in the state.

He said YIAGA Africa would deploy 500 stationary observers, 31 mobile citizen observers and 30 collation observers.

Isah said that the observers would be sent to 250 polling units across the 30 Local Government Areas of Osun on random basis.

“The comprehensive observation of the Sept. 2018 Osun election includes a systematic observation of voting and counting at a representative random sample of polling units.

“This will be done using the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology and employing information and communication technologies (ICTs) to rapidly transmit observer reports.

“The sample is carefully constructed by a trained statistician to ensure every LGA is included proportionally in the sample.

“The number of sampled polling units for each LGA is, therefore, based on the percentage of polling units and registered voters in that LGA.’’

Isah explained that the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) was an advanced Election Day observation methodology that uses well-established statistical principles and sophisticated information technology.

He said that the PVT provided the most timely and accurate information on the conduct of voting and counting.

The YIAGA Africa official said that PVT was the only observation methodology that could independently verify the accuracy of official Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) election results.

H e said that the PVT could also allow YIAGA Africa WatchingTheVote to present an accurate and comprehensive assessment of the Election Day processes.

Isah said the processes included checking whether election officials followed proper procedures, the presence and behaviour of party agents, secrecy of the vote, and transparency of the counting process.

He noted that YIAGA Africa would be providing independent information to voters, candidates, political parties, and INEC about whether the official results for the Osun Election truly reflected the ballots cast at polling units.

Isah said that the group could also check if INEC’s official results fall within YIAGA’s estimated range.

According to him, this will help build the confidence of the public, political parties and candidates that the official results reflected the ballots cast at polling units.

“If the official results do not reflect the ballots cast, #WatchingTheVote will expose it”, he said.

He, however, clarified that WatchingTheVote was not an exit poll, saying no voter was asked for whom he/she voted as the initiative only used the official results as announced and posted at polling units.

Isah said YIAGA Africa would also be observing the Pre-election environment to give early warning signals in order to prevent break down of law and order.

According to him, this involves a comprehensive observation of the pre-election period beginning with voter registration, tracking of early warning signs, and activities of INEC.

The group said it also included political parties’ candidates nominations and rallies and other election stakeholders, using advanced observation methodologies.

It said that the group’s WTV project was a citizen-led election observation initiative aimed at enhancing the integrity of elections using technology and evidence-based research methodology tools for election observation.

The group said that the WTV was designed to promote credible elections and boost citizen’s confidence in the electoral process through the provision of citizens oversight on elections.

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