YIAGA Africa, a civil society organization, has said it was ready to expose any “electoral fraud” by partnering with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ahead of the October 10 governorship election in Ondo state.
Daily Times correspondent was present when Cynthia Mbamalu, the Director of Programme of the organization, who made the disclosure in Akure, the state capital, also said no fewer than 646 election observers would be deployed to monitor the exercise.
Ms. Mbamalu said the long-term observers would be deployed in pairs to a representative random sample of 300 polling units in the 18 local government areas of the state.
She added that the organization also would be using the #Watch The Vote (WTV) plan for the exercise as residents of the state vote amid COVID-19 and guidelines on social distancing.
According to her, a total of 500 WTV Polling Unit Observers would also be deployed to observe accreditation, voting and counting processes on election day, while 27 mobile observers would be present in all the local government for the purpose of the election.
She explained that the election observers would be sending in “on-the-spot reports” while on the field, to the central database, through the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) observation methodology.
As part of the monitoring exercise, Mbamalu said the YIAGA Africa would be engaging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) mostly on its policies for the conduct of the election to ensure it met the demands of the citizens and also stand the test of time.
“The PVT allows YIAGA Africa’s WTV to present an accurate and comprehensive assessment of the Election day processes, such as whether election officials comply to the guidelines for the conduct of the elections, the presence of security agents, the behavior of political parties, secrecy of the ballot and transparency of the counting process.
“It is the only observation methodology that can independently verify the accuracy of Election Day results as released by the INEC which is the body legally mandated to do so”.
While stressing the need to educate voters in the state ahead of the governorship election, Mbamalu stressed that whenever there is low turnout of voters at polling units, it always gives room for manipulation of results.
“So, part of our objective is to ensure that citizens come out to vote without fear of violence attack”.
She added that the organization was planning to have a citizen platform through a town hall meeting, where the candidates of political parties participating in the election, can engage in debate.