We’re Set for Anambra Governorship Election – Yiaga


…deploys trained Long Term Observers across 21 LGAs  

By Gabriel Ewepu

AS political parties and their governorship candidates launch campaigns ahead of the Anambra State November 6th governorship election, an election observer, Yiaga Africa, Sunday, disclosed readiness and commencement of pre-election activities.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Director of Programmes, Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu, where it was made known that Yiaga Africa will track “the efficacy of the role of major election stakeholders, early warning signs and any form of incidents that can hinder the successful conduct of the elections.

According to the statement it will enable Yiaga Africa share information with “recommendations to respective stakeholders in the Anambra Election. Pre-elections observation findings will also be shared to the public via various channels of communication including social media.”

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.

The statement reads in part, “Yiaga Africa has commenced its observation of the pre-election environment in Anambra State ahead of the November 6th Governorship election.

“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.

“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.”

The statement also acknowledged that political parties have launched their campaigns across the local government areas, which Yiaga Africa is going to track their activities in line with the Electoral Act, and also do public enlightenment about the election including education on preventing spread of the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 before and during the election.

“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”, it pointed.

Also highlighting its activities as an election observer, Yiaga Africa said, “Periodically, Yiaga Africa 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.”