NGO to Observe Pre-Election Activities in Ekiti State.
A Non-Governmental Organization, Young Initiative For Advocacy Growth And Advancement (YIAGA) in its Watching The Vote (WTV), project has trained and deployed Long Term Observers (LTO) to observe the pre-election environment in Ekiti State.
The Long Term observers who also double as Local Government Supervisors were deployed to each of the 16 Local Government Areas in the State to report on events, activities and critical incidents using a specialized checklist and critical incident form.
The observation reports from the field are sent in form of coded SMS to the WTV Data Center bi-weekly while the critical incidents are sent in as they occur and properly escalated after verification.
YIAGA Africa's Watching The Vote Pre-Election observers will observe issues related to the; activities of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ranging from voter education and information campaigns to the collection and distribution of Permanent Voters Card, activities of political parties like the rallies and campaigns, activities relating to security agencies and incidents capable of undermining the electoral process. Pre-election observers will also observe and report Voter information campaigns by National Orientation Agency (NOA) and other Civil Society Organisations.
In a statement signed by the Executive Director of YIAGA Africa, Samson Itodo, he said: "At YIAGA Africa, we believe and promote social justice and inclusiveness thus voter education and campaigns targeted specifically at Youths, Women and Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) will be followed closely and duly reported by Observers during the pre-election period.
"Even as political parties launch their campaigns across the state, our election observation team are interested in campaigns and rallies associated to various political parties while also observing if youths, women and PWDs are also in anyway canvassing for votes.
Through the Pre-Election observation, YIAGA Africa will track early warning signs and any form of incident that can hinder the successful conduct of the elections.
"In this vein, WTV pre-elections observers will observe and report issues relating to hate speech campaigns, intimidation and harassment of any electoral stakeholder and attacks on media or INEC officials. LTOs will also report government restrictions on political activities or unjustifiable military influx into the state.
"This will enable YIAGA to verify and report this information to relevant authorities for proper action. Pre-elections observation findings will be shared to the public via various channels of communication including social media.
"As a civic hub dedicated to the promotion electoral integrity and credible elections and as an INEC accredited observer group, YIAGA Africa will also be deploying citizens’ observers to observe the Election Day activities. YIAGA invites the people of Ekiti State, Election Stakeholders and citizens to follow the pre-election observation report and engage using the findings of the reports".