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Yiaga Africa trains 543 observers for guber poll

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Governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Osagie Ize-Iyamu (left), and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki during their debate ahead of Saturday’s election in Benin City… yesterday


Ahead of Saturday’s governorship elections in Edo State, Yiaga Africa, yesterday, disclosed that it had deployed 44 master trainers across the 18 council areas of the state to train over 500 polling unit, 24 roving and 18 collation centre observers.

Its Executive Director, Samson Itodo, stated this in a statement in Abuja, adding that the programme tagged: Election Day Observation Training was held in 42 centres across the state.

His words: This was followed by the training of 18 collation centre observers, who will be deployed to all 18 council areas collation centres to observe, document and report the electoral process at the collation level.

“Yiaga Africa’s cohort of 44 master trainers with experience from their involvement in the Anambra, Ekiti, Osun, Kogi and Bayelsa gubernatorial elections and the 2019 presidential elections, stepped down the training to the local government supervisors and the polling unit observers.

“The training held between September 10 and 13, 2020 provided the rudiments of election observation and reporting.

“Yiaga Africa observers were trained on the essentials of election observation beginning from understanding elections day process as provided in the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) manuals and election guidelines, deployments on elections day to the Watching The Votes (WTV) observation methodology, using the observation forms.”

Itodo explained that the observers were also exposed to the guidelines and principles of election observation in line with the global principles of Global Network for Domestic Election Monitors

He added that the September 19 gubernatorial poll would be the first of the off-cycle elections to be conducted amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As such, observers were also trained on how to track and report adherence to the COVID-19 prevention protocols at the polling units and collation centres at the council areas.

“In ensuring observers adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines, Yiaga Africa has provided facemasks to all polling unit observers to ensure access to the polling units for effective observation,” he added.

“The WTV will employ the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) method on elections day and will deploy 500 stationary observers in pairs to a representative statistical sample of 250 polling units and 24 mobile observers, 18 collation centre observers in each of the 18 council areas and one State Focal Point (SFP),” he added.

He pointed out that the deployment strategy would enable the group to provide timely and precise information on accreditation, voting and counting, as well as verify the official results for the election as announced by INEC.

“The PVT is an elections day observation method that leverages statistics and technology for the observation of the voting process, counting and tallying of results.

“Citizen observers are deployed to randomly sample polling units to collect data on the conduct of elections and official polling unit level results.

“With the results assembled from the sampled polling units, a citizen observer group can release projected estimates and verify the accuracy of results declared by the election management body.

“Using this method, observer reports are sent via SMS to a central database, which enables WTV to analyse and share timely findings on the conduct of the election in near real-time,” he stated.


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