A group, the Youth Initiative for Advancement, Growth and Advocacy (YIAGA), has begun training for 18 local government election observers on Watching The Vote (WTV) methodology for the governorship elections in Ondo state.
The Media Manager, YIAGA, Mr David Oluwaseun, said this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
The statement said that the training was taking place in Akure in partnership with the National Democratic Institute (NDI).
The Statement quoted Mr Jasper Veen, Country Director, NDI, as saying that the WTV methodology “is to ensure the credibility of the elections’’.
The WTV is a citizen-led election observation initiative using data and technology to enhance the integrity of the election.
It also adopts a technology of the social media election of data transparency sustainability for evidenced-based election observation.
Veen said that the data collected at each of the polling units would tell of the quality of the Nov. 26, governorship elections, whether it was bad or good.
According to him, what the observers will be doing is credibly important as YIAGA will be able to verify with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the information it collates at the polling units.
He noted that the introduction of WTV became necessary in order to avoid the repeat of Edo elections where some political parties complained about manipulating the electioneering process.
Veen said that the election observers would play a significant role that would help to improve the integrity of the process.
The NDI country Director said that the observers’ job would be as citizen observers, hence the need to get it right.
He said that they should not fail to report any hitches to YIAGA.
Veen noted that the 18 LGA observers being trained would be saddled with the responsibility of recruiting the 300 observers across selected polling units in the state.
He also said that the quality of people that would be recruited as observers in the 300 polling units was crucial to the success of the elections.
The statement also said that Mr Samson Todo, Executive Director, YIAGA, acknowledged that the introduction of WTV was to deepen the integrity of election observation thereby impacting on the electoral process.
He said that the WTV relied on statistical principle to deter fraud, assemble data on the conduct of elections to support INEC in deepening the process.
“The sampling of polling unit is embedded in this project through random sampling where an observer is deployed to a unit by sending a Short Message Service (SMS) to the central desk of WTV.
“This is geared toward deepening the integrity of the electoral process bearing in mind the laudable innovation by INEC,” he added. (NAN)