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Osun Election: YIAGA AFRICA Commends INEC, Voter’s on Process, Peaceful Conduct

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By Jide Afolabi, Osogbo

Foremost election observation mission in Nigeria, YIAGA AFRICA Watching the Vote (WTV) has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on the timely opening of polls with essential materials present and timely announcement of results.

The body also commended voter’s for peaceful conduct during the process of voting and counting.

The observation mission stated during a press conference held in Osogbo, Osun state capital today, Sunday in a statement signed by Co-Chairs of Watching the Vote Osun State Observation Mission, Dr Aisha Abdullahi and Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu that it deployed “500 stationary observer’s in pairs to a representative statistical sample of 250 polling units and 31 mobile observer’s located in all 30 LGAs of Osun state”. The group also deployed 30 stationary observer’s to each of the 30 LGAs result collation centres.

The group said it used, “Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology on election day which enabled YIAGA AFRICA to provide timely and accurate information on the conduct of accreditation, voting and counting as well as to independently verify the official results and provide turnout for the Osun gubernatorial election as announced by INEC.”

According to WTV, the result statement was based on reports from 247 of 250 (99%) sampled polling units. YIAGA AFRICA said that it had earlier in its pre-election statement that the “Osun governorship election will be keenly contested and largely determined by swing LGAs and a small margin in the difference of votes between the top contesting parties.”

YIAGA AFRICA said it got its estimates on voter’s turnout of 45.0% and 47.8% with the INEC’s official turnout of 45.7% and that no party/candidate would receive more than 37.4% of the vote share right.

The group said based on the total votes announced so far by INEC, its statistical analysis (considering the margin of errors) shows that the APC should receive between 33.6% and 37.4% of the vote, ADP 5.7% and 8.9%, PDP 32.5% and 36.9 and SDP 15.1% and 19.7% votes. It said although, its overall estimated range is consistent with the INEC official pronouncement but important to note that the election is not over and inconclusive.

While commenting on counting, signing and posting of results, it said, 99% of agent’s of major party agent’s countersigned the form EC. 8A and received the copies and results posted in 94% of the polling units.

On collation, it said on average, 12 polling agents were present at the observed LGA Collation Centres during the collation process and Form EC.8B submitted to the collation officer in all 30 collation centres.

The body’s Electronic Collation Support Secretariat crosschecked results for computational accuracy in 28 of the collation centres observed while almost all major party agent’s countersigned.

On critical Incidents, the observation mission recorded two incident’s of harassment, intimidation and arrest of observer’s by political thugs in polling unit 006, Ward 5 in Atakumosa LGA while party agent’s in polling unit 002 in Ifelodun LGA refused to allow observer’s until the intervention of the police.

Also, WTV observed ballots/ballot boxes snatching or stuffing during accreditation and voting in polling unit 001 in Ede North LGA, polling unit 005 in Ede South LGA and Ward 8, polling unit 001 in Orolu LGA.

Incident’s of vote buying was observed in four locations, specifically Ward 3, polling unit 005 Molete, Iwo LGA, Oore community polling unit 006 in Boripe LGA, L.A. School Adereto polling unit 004 in Ife South LGA and Town Hall polling unit 002 in Obokun LGA.

YIAGA AFRICA called on INEC to make public the list of the cancelled polling units and plans for the conduct of the re-run election and ensure that the electoral guidelines are strictly adhered to. The group also encouraged INEC to make public the data from the E-Collation and E-Transmission of results from the polling units.

The group condemned vote buying and voter inducement and commended INEC for banning phones and camera’s usage at the voting booths. It recommended increased voter education by various stakeholder’s while commending the security.

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