- The Anambra state governorship election is still a trending topic in Nigeria
- The election was largely free and fair according to various observers
- One group that stood out in its commitment to ensuring a free and fair contest is the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA)'s Watching The Vote (WTV).
The Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA)'s Watching The Vote results verification for statement the Anambra governorship election is out.
The results verification statement by the youth-based organisation, covers the accuracy of the official results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In a press briefing attended by NAIJ.com immediately after the election result was announced by INEC, YIAGA's board chairman, Professor Hussaini Abdu read out its observations.
Their observations below:
1. Accurate official results
The INEC official results for every candidate fall within the WTV estimated range giving confidence that the results announced reflect the ballots cast at polling units. Further, INEC's turnout and rejected ballot figures are consistent with the WTV estimates announced earlier today.
2. Accessibility of results collation centers
The results collation centres were accessible to accredited observers and journalists. It was obvious the electoral commission took deliberate steps to addres concerns expressed by YIAGA WTV and other observers in the pre-election period.
3. Quality of results counting and collation
Our data reveals procedural lapses and poor handling of counting and data entry by the polling officials and collation officers. This no doubt impacts on the quality of the result collation process.
4. Data issues
The existence of multiple voting points at some polling units as well as multiple polling units at some locations creates data issues for INEC official reporting results. Further there are some anomalies in the results as announce by INEC (for example 40 polling units with zero rejected ballots).
5. Timeline for announcement of results
The delay in the collation and announcement of results at the state collation centre raised unnecessary suspicion amongst key election stakeholders.
YIAGA however called on the winner of the electoral contest, Governor Willie Obiano of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and his supporters to be magnanimous in victory.
They also urged the other candidates that to accept the results, stressing that they reflect the votes cast, even as they urged them to show political maturity and maintain peace.
YIAGA recommended that INEC take all the necessary steps to address all the challenges witnessed in the Anambra election.
“This includes to improve distribution of materials and to re-double efforts to train ad-hoc staff particularly around arrival, opening and election day responsibilities.
“YIAGA further recommends, as WTV had during the Ondo 2016 polls, to improve the ability of the card readers to reliably verify fingerprints and ensure voter accreditation procedures are adhered to,” the report said.
YIAGA commended the dedication of the permanent INEC staff in Abuja and Anambra state for their patience in concluding the voting exercise even late in the evening.
They assured Nigerians of their determination to promote credible elections in the country by providing independent information on the conduct of elections and independently verifying the accuracy of election results.
NAIJ.com had visited the #WatchingTheVote center which was set u at Finotel hotel in the state capital, Awka.
The center is an open data driven technology tool deployed to ensure citizens votes and voices counts in the Anambra governorship election.
YIAGA deployed 500 observers to 250 polling units and had 29 roving reporters in the 21 local governments of the state.
Anambra election: Awka residents speak on who they will vote for and why - NAIJ.com TV