A civil society organisation, YIAGA Africa, has commenced its observation of the pre-election environment in Anambra State ahead of the November 6, 2021 governorship election.
Through its Watching The Vote (WTV), a citizens’ election observation project, YIAGA Africa is tracking and reporting pre-election activities for immediate response by stakeholders. Through the pre-election observation, YIAGA Africa tracks the efficacy of the role of major election stakeholders, early warning signs and any form of incident that can hinder the successful conduct of the elections.
This, YIAGA Africa said will enable it to share information and recommendations to respective stakeholders in the Anambra Election.
A statement issued by the director of programs, YIAGA Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu, said pre-election observation findings will also be shared to the public via various channels of communication including social media.
“The pre-election observation builds on the observation of the political party primaries and the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise in the state.
“The WatchingTheVote project has trained and deployed Long Term Observers (LTOs) across all 21 local government areas of the state. As part of its comprehensive pre-election observation efforts, the WTV Pre-Election observers will observe issues related to the activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). This includes recruitment and training of adhoc personnel, identification of polling units, meeting with stakeholders, voter education and information campaigns to the collection and distribution of Permanent Voters Card,” she said.
LEADERAHIP reports that the pre-election observation also includes activities relating to security agencies and incidents capable of undermining the electoral process; voter information campaigns by National Orientation Agency (NOA) and other civil society organisations.
“Also, as political parties launch their campaigns across the local government areas, our Long Term Observers will be tracking campaigns and rallies associated with various political parties.
“Observers will also observe adherence to COVID-19 guidelines as well as the level of citizens’ education on the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 virus.
“WTV pre-elections observers will also observe and report issues relating to hate speech campaigns, intimidation and harassment of any electoral stakeholder and attacks on media or INEC officials.
“Pre-election observers will also report government restrictions on political activities or unjustifiable military deployments into the state. This will enable YIAGA Africa to verify and report this information to relevant authorities for proper action,” the statement added.
Periodically, YIAGA Africa said it will release its pre-election observation reports to stakeholders, especially the electoral commission, Nigerian security agencies, and the general public.
“The report will provide information on emerging issues and recommendations for immediate action. As a civic hub dedicated to the promotion of electoral integrity and credible elections and as an INEC accredited observer group, YIAGA Africa will also be deploying citizen observers to observe the Election Day activities.
“YIAGA Africa Watching the Vote is a non-partisan, independent and Nigeria’s largest citizens-led movement dedicated to promoting electoral integrity in Nigeria and Africa,” Mbamalu stated.