2019: YIAGA Africa launches Parallel Vote Tabulation mission

2019: YIAGA Africa launches Parallel Vote Tabulation mission

- YIAGA Africa's Watching The Vote (WTV) Working Group has launched the Parallel Vote Tabulation Mission ahead of the 2019 general elections

- The initiative is a parallel tabular mission which is jointly held by YIAGA Africa and the National Democratic Institute (NDI)

- It is geared towards monitoring elections through the deployment of technology in the 774 local government areas

YIAGA Africa's Watching The Vote (WTV) Working Group on Friday, December 7, launched the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) Mission ahead of the 2019 general elections

The initiative is a parallel tabular mission which is jointly held by YIAGA Africa and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), to monitor elections through deployment of technology in the 774 local government areas in the country.

Speaking at the event, Dr Hassaini Abdu, board chairman, YIAGA Africa, said the PVT is an election observation methodology that is typically based on a representative random sampling of polling stations employed for independent verification of election results.

According to him, the launching of the method was a declaration of YIAGA Africa’s readiness to support every stakeholder in the 2019 elections, in order to get the required result needed for a credible election.

2019: YIAGA Africa launches Parallel Vote Tabulation mission

INEC officials and representatives of development partners at the launch of the Parallel Vote Tabulation mission. Photo credit: YIAGA Africa
Source: Facebook

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His words: “Our primary commitment in this job is to deepen deepen accountability and enhance the credibility of our electoral process.

“It is the beginning of the our democracy. If we don't get our elections right, we cannot actually claim it is a democracy because that is why the leadership emerge, so, the quality of our leaders is determined by the quality of our elections.

“So our call to politicians is that elections are just phases in our democratic-journey, it is not everything; therefore, the sense of desperation needs to be properly managed.

“Politicians are increasingly becoming a major threat to our democracy therefore it is important for us to make this call, that they need to tarry a while and build a better commitment and understanding that will help strengthen our democracy.’’

On her part, Professor Antonia Okoosi-Simbine, National Commissioner Elections and Political Parties in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), commended YIAGA Africa for always using the PVT to verify INEC’s results.

According to her, the initiative has helped INEC greatly by adding value to the credibility of its results.

“Our results have been very close or not too different from that of YIAGA and this is important to us.

“We have an organisation that is doing very systematic and scientific work, if not for them maybe people would really question the results that we bring out particularly when issues like vote buying are around elections,’’ she said

Also speaking, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms Catriona Laing, described the forthcoming 2019 general elections as 'crucial.'

She hailed the concept of the PVT, noting that it was used in her last country of assignment, before she was deployed to Nigeria - Zimbabwe.

She called for a level playing field for all political parties ahead of the elections.

The USAID Nigeria Mission Director, Mr Stephen Haykin, declared support for YIAGA Africa's mission to ensuring credible elections in Nigeria.

He called on INEC to, “maximise voter privacy at the polls, reduce vote buying and work with security agencies to ensure that voters exercise their franchise in peace.’’

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Meanwhile, two CSOs, Paradigm Initiative and Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), are collaborating to ensure candidates in the 2019 general elections commit to adoption of e-governance.

This was revealed by Paradigm Initiative's program manager; Adegoke Adeboye and CITAD's communication officer; Salma Abdulwaheed, during an interactive session with journalists on Tuesday, December 4.

They stated that their aim is to promote institutional framework and approaches to anti-corruption and transparency efforts, especially as Nigeria prepares for the 2019 elections.

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