Ahead of the 2023 General elections, Yiaga Africa through its Watching The Vote (WTV) project has reactivated its National election observation structure consisting of 48 State Focal Persons, 42 Master Trainers and 774 Local Government Supervisors across Nigeria in preparation to provide a comprehensive oversight on the electoral process.
Yiaga Africa’s Director of Programs Cynthia Mbamalu announced the reactivation on Monday during the National the National Training of Trainers on the Parallel Vote Tabulation methodology and Pre-election Observation (PREO) held in Lagos saying, this signals the commencement of WTV election observation intervention for the 2023 general elections.
Speaking during the training, Cynthia said, the 2023 General elections is an opportunity to provide independent oversight on the electoral process to provide quality data to counter misinformation and to build our electoral democracy. She said, “If people do not trust the system, the voter turnout will not increase in the 2023 elections” saying, the WTV will play important role in building citizens confidence in the process by providing accurately and timely information on the process.
According to her, Election observation is that service that Nigerians provide to improve our electoral process. She commended the role of citizen observers in the electoral process saying observers are the vanguard of Nigeria’s electoral democracy. She hailed the role of observers and Civil Society Organisations in the passage of the 2022 Electoral Act saying, there are progressive provisions in the electoral law that can propel development in the electoral process.
She said, “the only thing that will ensure the act achieve its purpose is our ability to educate the citizen on how the law can improve the process and guaranty transparency saying. “It all starts with the leadership we provide as citizen observers who is engaging in voter education in our respective communities and we must engage with utmost diligence, dedication and honesty. “
“Also, it’s our ability to provide oversight on the electoral process using existing laws and electoral guidelines and provide information on the functionality of election technology amongst other electoral process”, she said.
For the 2023 General elections, Cynthia said, Yiaga Africa will serve as a source of truth using the Parallel Vote Tabulation methodology to provide information on electoral process and verify the accuracy of election results. This according to her will serve as a conflict mitigation tool which will prevent or minimize post-election violence. “Regardless of the nature of election, PVT will serve as a single source of truth”, saying Yiaga Africa’s obligation is for all Nigerians alone and not any political party or institution.