Home Politics #AnambraDecides2021: Yiaga Africa commences observation of pre-election environment

#AnambraDecides2021: Yiaga Africa commences observation of pre-election environment

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By Peterson Ibi

Ahead of the 6 November, 2021 governorship election in Anambra State, Yiaga Africa says it has commenced its observation of the pre-election environment in the State, under its Watching the Vote (WTV), citizens’ election observation project.

The Director of Programs of the  organization, Cynthia Mbamalu, disclosed in a statement on Sunday, that Yiaga Africa is already tracking and reporting pre-election activities for immediate response by stakeholders.

“Through the Pre-Election observation, 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.

“This will enable us to share this 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,” she said.

The statement disclosed that WatchingTheVote project has trained and deployed Long Term Observers (LTOs) across all 21 Local Government Areas of the State.

It added that as part of the comprehensive pre-election observation efforts, the WTV Pre-Election observers will observe issues related to the activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The statement reads further:

“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.

“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.

“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 concluded.