Yiaga Africa trains 543 observers for Edo governorship election

YIAGA Africa, a Civil Society Organisation committed to credible elections in Nigeria says it has trained 543 observers ahead of September 19  governorship election in Edo State.

Samson Itodo, the Executive Director of Yiaga Africa who disclosed this in a statement made available to The ICIR stated that a cohort of 44 master trainers were deployed across all 18 Local Government Areas in Edo State for the training of over 500 polling unit observers and 24 roving observers.

He said the ‘Election Day observation training’ was held in 42 training centres spread across the local government areas in the state.

Itodo explained that the Yiaga Africa observers were trained on the essentials of election observation beginning from understanding the election day process as provided in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’s) manuals and election guidelines, election day deployment, to the WTV observation methodology, using the observation forms.

He added that the observers were also trained on the guidelines and principles of election observation in line with global principles of Global Network for Domestic Election Monitors.

Due to the pandemic, Itodo noted that the election observers were also trained on how to track and report the adherence to COVID-19 elections.

“The September 19th Edo gubernatorial election will be the first of the off-cycle elections to be conducted amidst a pandemic,” he said.

    “Thus observers were also trained on how to track and report adherence to the COVID-19 prevention protocols at the polling units and LGA results collation centres. In ensuring citizen observers adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines.”

    Itodo stated that the deployment strategy would enable Yiaga Africa to provide timely and precise information on the conduct of accreditation, voting and counting as well as to independently verify the official results for the gubernatorial election as announced by INEC.

    “The Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) is an Election Day observation methodology that leverages statistics and technology for the observation of the process of voting and counting and tallying of results. Citizen observers are deployed to randomly sampled polling units to collect data on the conduct of elections and official polling unit level results,” the statement read in part.

    He explained that a citizen observer group can release projected estimates and verify the accuracy of results declared by INEC based on  the results collated from the sampled polling units.

    Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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