Ahead of the November 18 gubernatorial election in Anambra State, the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) deployed long-term observers under its WatchingTheVote (WTV) project in every of the 21 Local Government Areas of the State to observe the pre-election environment using a checklist that is carefully designed to cover all aspects of the pre-election phase. These observers will be deployed until the election day. They are reporting on election activities of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), voter education activities by National Orientation Agency (NOA), INEC and other Civil Society Organizations., campaign activities by political parties and Violence Monitoring. Observers report their findings via coded text messaging to WTV database using their mobile phones.
The WTV pre-election observation project leverages the presence of 27 locally recruited and trained YIAGA election observers in the 21 LGAs of Anambra State to gather systematic information about the 2017 pre-electoral environment, including early warning signs of electoral violence. WTV pre-election observers will remain deployed between September 26, 2017, and November 09, 2017 and WTV will release a series of four reports on the pre-election environment between October 12, 2017, and November 14, 2017.
At YIAGA, we believe and promote social justice and inclusiveness thus campaigns targeted specifically at Youths, Women, and People With Disabilities (PWDs) will be followed closely and duly reported by Observers during the pre-election period. Even as political parties launch their campaigns across the state, our election observation team are interested in campaigns and rallies associated with various political parties while also observing if youths, Women, and PWDs are also in anyway canvassing for votes.
While also ready to deploy observers to observe the elections proper, YIAGA will track early warning signals and any form of an incident that can hinder the successful conduct of the elections. In this vein, WTV pre-elections observers will observe and report issues relating to hate speech campaigns, intimidation and harassment of any electoral stakeholder and attacks on media or INEC officials. LTOs will also report government restrictions on political activities or military influx into the state. This will enable YIAGA to verify and report this information to relevant authorities for proper action. Pre-elections observation findings will be shared with the public via various media of communication including social media.
As a civic hub dedicated to the promotion electoral integrity and credible elections and as an INEC accredited observer group, YIAGA will also be deploying citizens’ observers to observe the Election Day activities. YIAGA invites the people of Anambra State, Election Stakeholders and citizens to follow the pre-election observation report and engage using the findings of the reports.