Yiaga Africa through its Watching The Vote (WTV) election observation project, has trained 882 Long Term Observers (LTOs) nationwide to observe and report the Pre-election environment ahead of the 2023 Presidential and Governorship elections. Yiaga Africa deployed its 42 Master Trainers and 48 State Focal Points to all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to train its 774 Local Government Area Supervisors. The Long Term Observers have officially commenced observation of the pre-election environment by observing the ongoing display of the register of voters. Yiaga Africa’s pre-election observation aims to provide accurate information on the process, promote citizens’ engagement and participation, build early warning systems and provide recommendations to promote transparency and credibility in the 2023 General Elections.
Yiaga Africa’s observation of the pre-election period environment involves the deployment of 822 Long Term Observers across all the 774 LGAs in the 36 States and the FCT to track and report on activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Orientation Agency (NOA), Political Parties, Security Agencies and the involvement of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the electoral process as well as tracking and reporting early warning signs for electoral violence. This initiative also involves a comprehensive observation of the pre-election period which began with Continuous Voter Registration, Display Claims and Objections, tracking of early warning signs, activities of INEC, political parties (candidate nominations and rallies) and other election stakeholders, using advanced observation methodologies.
Specifically, Yiaga Africa’s LTOs will observe and report preparatory activities of INEC like the collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVC), training of ad-hoc staff, and deployment of sensitive and non-sensitive materials amongst other activities including voter education campaigns leading to the elections. Citizen observers will also observe political party activities including campaigns and the display of posters while also reporting violations of the electoral laws during the campaign process. This includes attacks on campaign trails and rallies, destruction of posters, hate speech, and gender-based violence amongst others.
Also, Yiaga Africa’s WTV has developed and is currently tracking a series of indicators that could potentially degenerate into electoral violence. This includes inadequate information on the electoral process, restrictions in the use of public facilities, stockpiling of arms, and unwarranted movement of people from one place to another amongst other indicators.
Yiaga Africa will observe and receive reports on these and other pre-election activities by stakeholders from all its 882 Long Term observers nationwide, reports will be analyzed and disseminated to Nigerians and election stakeholders periodically.
For election day, #WatchingTheVote will deploy a comprehensive observation of the 2023 Presidential Election including systematic observation of voting and counting at a representative random sample of polling using the PVT methodology and employing information and communication technologies (ICTs) to rapidly transmit observer reports.