YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote (WTV) today briefed the public on the findings from its parallel vote tabulation: a gold standard citizen observation methodology that employsed statistics and information communication technologies to enable YIAGA AFRICA to provide an independent estimate of the vote shares that each party received within a narrow range. Estimates were based on observations from 3,030 observers carefully deployed in pairs to a random statistical sample of 1,515 polling units. If the official results fell within YIAGA AFRICA’s estimated ranges, then the public, political parties and candidates should have confidence in the ballots cast at the polling units.
Based on reports from 1,491 or 98.4% of sampled polling units YIAGA AFRICA’s findings show that for the presidential election the All Progressive Congress (APC) should receive between 50.0% and 55.8% of the vote; and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) should receive between 41.2% and 47.0% of the vote. These figures are consistent with the official results as announced by INEC. For both APC and PDP the official results fall within the PVT estimated ranges.
“YIAGA AFRICA urges Nigerian voters, political parties, candidates and international stakeholders to have confidence in the just-concluded electoral process and the officially announced results,” said Dr. Hussaini Abdu, Chair of YIAGA AFRICA Watching the Vote.
YIAGA AFRICA also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to provide clarity around two issues that – while they did not affect the overall outcome of the elections – are of pressing concern to the Nigerian people. First, the overall, percentage of cancelled ballots announced by INEC was 3.3% of all registered voters. This figure was four times higher than the rate from 2015 when registered voters in cancelled polling units was less than 1% of all registered votes. Second, YIAGA AFRICA noted discrepancies between the number of registered voters announced prior to the election and the numbers announced during collation and called on INEC to provide an in-depth explanation, including of whether these differences indicated that collation did not conclude in all parts of the country. However, YIAGA AFRICA noted that the PVT data, which projected its estimated vote shares on the basis of the numbers announced at the polling units before any cancelation of results could take place, showed that neither of these issues impacted the outcome of the election.
YIAGA AFRICA called upon all political parties, all candidates and the good people of Nigeria to show political maturity and maintain peace in the post-election period. YIAGA AFRICA moreover urged all parties to adhere to legal provisions for filing electoral claims and disputes. Finally, YIAGA AFRICA noted that the challenges experienced during the elections call for a detailed and systematic post-election review to include an inquiry into the cancellation of ballots, an audit of the voter register and a review of the elections operation management systems.
YIAGA AFRICA is a strictly nonpartisan and independent civil society organization without affiliation to any political party, candidate or state agency. YIAGA AFRICA carries out 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.