By Angela Atabo
Yiaga Africa, a civil society organisation says it plans to deploy its Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology to assess the credibility of the Sept. 19, Edo Governorship poll.
Mr Samson Itodo, Executive Director, Yiaga Africa said this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
He said the group through its Watching The Vote citizens movement, would also deploy 500 observers to monitor the election.
According to Itodo, the PVT is an advanced election observation methodology that employs well-established statistical principles and sophisticated information technology in providing timely and accurate information on conduct of elections.
He added that the process will monitor accreditation, voting, and counting, and it will independently verify the official governorship results as announced by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“The PVTs are not opinion polls; Yiaga Africa citizen observers do not ask voters for whom they cast their ballot; PVT relies solely on official results from polling units.
“This tested and proven election observation methodology has been deployed in over 50 countries worldwide, including Nigeria.
“Yiaga Africa deployed the PVT in the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa governorship election where it detected fraud and manipulation of results collation and declined to verify the official results declared by INEC.
“In a statement jointly signed by the Chair of Yiaga Africa election observation mission for Edo, Dr Aisha Abdullahi, Nigeria’s and Yiaga Africa Executive Director, Samson Itodo, the organisation said it would deploy 500 stationary observers.
Itodo said that the observers would monitor the conduct of the process and provide systematic, accurate and timely information on the Election Day process.
He said specifically that Yiaga Africa would provide accurate information on the quality of the Election Day process and ascertain if the official results announced by INEC reflected the total votes cast.
Itodo explained that since the PVT was based on official results from a representative random sample of polling units, Yiaga Africa would estimate the state-wide results for the governorship election within a narrow range based on well-established statistical principles.
He said that if INEC’s official results fall within Yiaga Africa’s estimated range, then the public, political parties and candidates would have confidence that the official results reflected the ballots cast at polling units.
Itodo, however, said that if the announced results have been manipulated and do not match the polling units’ results, Yiaga Africa would oppose it.
He said that the PVT was a component of Yiaga Africa’s comprehensive election observation methodology spanning the electoral cycle.
“Therefore, in assessing whether the 2020 Edo governorship satisfies the electoral integrity test, Yiaga Africa will consider a range of issues such as shortcomings in the pre-election period.
“The quality of election day processes and the scale and scope of critical incidents.’’
Itodo said that on Election Day, Yiaga Africa would receive 4,500 text messages containing approximately 56,000 individual pieces of information about the election.
He added that the messages would be reviewed and analysed to ensure that the information was complete, authentic and accurate before dissemination.
Itodo said that after poll, Yiaga Africa would issue its estimated projections based on its preliminary data.
He added that on Sunday, Sept. 20, the group would share its preliminary Watching The Vote findings on the conduct of setup, accreditation, voting and counting.
Itodo said that immediately INEC announce the official results for the election, Yiaga Africa would hold its news conference and issue its statement on the election result.
“Yiaga Africa Watching the Vote is “Driven by Data for All Nigerians Beholden to None!”(NAN)