The July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State, South West Nigeria is critical for many reasons especially because it is one of the few governorship elections that would be conducted before the 2019 general elections. Hence, it is a test-run for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s preparedness to conduct a credible general election in 2019.
The Ekiti election will also present an opportunity for political parties to gain a crucial foothold in the political space before facing the determined challenges in 2019. More importantly, the activities of this key actors in the pre-election environment will be informed by the scenarios in the pre-election environment, therefore, calls for a close observation by independent observer groups like YIAGA AFRICA.
Since May 25th, 2018 YIAGA AFRICA through the Watching The Vote (WTV) project deployed 24 long-term observers (LTO) to all the 16 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Ekiti State to gather systematic information about the pre-election environment, including early warning signs of electoral violence.
YIAGA WTV LTOs observes electoral activities relating to voter education, political campaign activities, activities of marginalized groups (youth, women, and people living with disabilities) and election-related violence in the pre-election period. This report is the third of the fourth report YIAGA AFRICA is releasing in the build-up to the election. Findings and recommendations from the observation is shared in subsequent sections.