Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Ahead of the November 16th Governorship elections in Bayelsa state, a civil society group, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement, YIAGA AFRICA has disclosed that it would deployed 250 observers across the 1804 polling units.
YIAGA Africa which stated this during a roundtable parley with journalists in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital called on journalists in Bayelsa state to leverage on accurate data from its Watching The Vote(WTV) project in reporting election related issues in the state.
YIAGA AFRICA’s WTV Project Director, Cynthia Mbamalu quoted by its media officer Moshood Isah in a press statement explained that WTV is a comprehensive observation of the electoral process which includes the observation of the political party primaries, pre-election environment in all Local government areas and the Election Day observation which deploys the advanced election day observation methodology called the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PTV).
“We just concluded the training of Long-Term Observers from all Local Government Areas in the state who will serve as pre-election observers and will also be recruiting observers from sampled polling units” She said.
According to her, Pre-election observers will be observing political party campaigns, Voter education activities by election stakeholders, activities of the electoral commission like distribution of Permanent Voters Card.
She said the pre-election environment is very crucial as it goes a long way in determining what happens during the election period. “We will also be monitoring violent indicators to enable us build early warning systems in order to prevent or mitigate electoral violence”.
The group said for the Election Day it would be using PVT which is a systematic observation of the voting and counting process at a representative random sample of polling units using statistical principle and information and communication technologies (ICTs) to rapidly transmit observer reports from the Polling Units to a central database.
Meanwhile a group, Patriotism Advancement and Community Orientation Network (PACON), a non-governmental organization has warned against corrupt practices during the conduct of the gubernatorial election in Bayelsa and Kogi state respectively.
The Convener, Mr. Aluzu Ebikebuna Augustine who stated this in statement said the group would not tolerate any act of malpractice during the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the two states.
He commends the political parties for the peaceful conduct of their primaries and urgedj them to replicate same during the election.
“We wish to commend the various parties for the peaceful conduct of their primary election in Bayelsa and Kogi state. As we look set to go into the polls November 16, we urge all parties to maintain same. The organization will not tolerate any act of electoral malfeasance in the forthcoming election. As advocates of patriotism and community development, we shall work with relevant authorities in ensuring that those who attempt to hijack the collective will of the people are prosecuted.