#WatchingTheVote Pre-election Press Statement on the 2018 Ekiti Gubernatorial Election

YIAGA Africa today presented its #WatchingTheVote (WTV) project and deployment plans for the Saturday, July 14, Ekiti state gubernatorial election. On Election Day, YIAGA Africa will employ the parallel vote tabulation (PVT) methodology – the gold standard for citizen observation. WTV will deploy 500 stationary observers to a representative statistical sample of 250 polling units and 25 mobile observers located in all 16 local government areas (LGAs) of Ekiti state. YIAGA will also deploy 16 collation centre observers to cover all of Ekiti’s LGA-level collation centres. This deployment strategy will enable YIAGA Africa to provide timely and accurate information on the conduct of accreditation, voting, and counting as well as to independently verify the official results of the Ekiti gubernatorial election as announced by INEC.

Throughout Election Day, YIAGA Africa will provide updates on the conduct of the election based on the near real-time reports from its observers. These will be released at the data centre and posted on social media at YIAGA Africa’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/yiaga.org) and YIAGA Africa’s Twitter page (@YIAGA). On Saturday, July 14, 2018, at 7 pm, YIAGA AFRICA will release its estimated projections based on its preliminary data. On Sunday, July 15, 2018, at 10 am at Eleventh House, Ado-Ekiti, YIAGA Africa will also share its preliminary WTV findings on the conduct of set-up, accreditation, voting and counting. Immediately after INEC announces the official results for the gubernatorial election, YIAGA Africa will hold its own press conference and issue its election results verification statement.

During the press briefing, YIAGA Africa also shared findings from its final report on the pre-election environment in Ekiti State as part of the WTV Pre-Election Observation or PREO project. The report summarizes findings from 24 long-term observers who have been deployed in all 16 Local Government Areas of Ekiti State since May 25. Covering the period from July 6 to July 11, 2018, the report highlighted three important findings:

First, YIAGA Africa applauded the increase in voter education activities observed this period on the part of both the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) and civil society organizations but noted an absence of campaigns to specifically target women, youth and persons with disabilities in many LGAs. Second, YIAGA Africa noted high levels of campaign activity across the state and remarked on the active role played by women and youth to canvass for votes. YIAGA AFRICA urged INEC to respect the results counting and announcement procedures, including the posting of Form EC 60E even with the introduction of new electronic collation technologies. YIAGA AFRICA expressed concerns with the overzealous and hostile conduct of security personnel deployed to the state for the election. YIAGA AFRICA calls on security agencies to uphold the principles of non-partisanship, transparency, civil policing and professionalism in the conduct of their affairs. Finally, YIAGA Africa expressed concern at increasing reports of voter inducement, as both witnessed and heard of by citizen observers, noting that even rumours of voter inducement can undermine citizen confidence in the integrity of elections.

YIAGA Africa YIAGA AFRICA is a non-profit civic hub of changemakers building democratic societies in Africa anchored on the principles of inclusion, justice, rule of law and accountability. YIAGA Africa achieves its goal through research, capacity development and policy advocacy. YIAGA Africa has been involved in election observation since 2007 and it is one of the leading organizations working on elections in Nigeria.

For media inquiries please contact:

Moshood Isah

Communication Officer

YIAGA Africa

Tel. +234 (0) 703 666 9339

Email: misah@yiaga.org

Learn more about #WatchingTheVote at www.watchingthevote.org or on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/yiaga.org or on Twitter @YIAGA.

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