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Group to deploy over 500 observers for Anambra election

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By Lawrence Nwimo

A Civil Society Organization, YIAGA Africa, has said it would deploy at least 548 individuals to observe the forthcoming November 6 governorship election in Anambra State.

The group disclosed this to journalists on Wednesday, during a meeting with the Media in Awka, the capital of Anambra State.

Speaking at the event, a Board Member of the organization, Ezenwa Nwangwu, said the election observers would be distributed in pairs to a representative random sample of 250 polling units in all the local government areas of the State.

According to him, “A total number of 548 #WatchingTheVote (WTV) Polling Unit Observers will be deployed to observe the accreditation, voting and counting processes of the election day.

“WTV observers will report the opening of Polling Units, accreditation, voting, vote counting as well as the announcement of results by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.  21 other observers will observe the result collation process at the Local Government and State Result Collation Centres.”

While he said the body seeks to promote democratic governance, he assured that the group would be taking records of the  pre-election events as well as the main election with emphasis on the party campaigns, discrimination and reporting early warning signs of electoral violence.

He also said, “YIAGA Africa WatchingTheVote will be using an advanced election day observation methodology called Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) that leverages statistics and technology for the observation of the process of voting, counting and tallying of results.” 

According to him, the use of the PVT would avail the group opportunity to present an accurate and comprehensive assessment of the Election Day processes, such as the compliance to the election guidelines by key election officials, as well as monitor the secrecy and transparency of the counting processes.

Nwagwu who noted that the overall interest of the group is to champion advocacy movement for good governance in the State through the conduct of free, fair and credible election, maintained that some of the various findings of the group has led to progress and reforms in the Country’s electoral system.

Another board member, Prof Nnamdi Aduba, decried low voters’ turn out, especially in the 2017 gubernatorial elections in Anambra State. He said there is need to remind the people the importance of active participation in election, stating that gone are the days when the electoral processes are left in the hands of political gladiators.

“Vote count in Anambra election is always very low because people are too docile on election matters in the State. People should be informed of the consequences of not voting. Anambra people should know that the consequence of non-participation in an election is that whatever type of government that emerges should be taken in good faith,” he concluded.

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