From Tunde Rahman, Lokoja
Towards ensuring a successful election in the forthcoming governorship election in Kogi state, YIAGA Africa, a nongovernmental organization promoting democratic governance, human rights and youth civil participation has pledged to deploy no fewer than 500 observers to monitor election in random 250 polling units in the state.
The Project Manager YIAGA Africa, Mbamalu Cynthia disclosed this in an interactive session with media practitioners at Riverton Hotels in Lokoja, the Kogi State Capital over the weekend.
She explained that YIAGA Africa will be participating in monitoring Kogi governorship election on November 16th, stressing that the organization will not be only reference point, but also want monitors all the electoral process in the State.
The Project Manager explained that the NGO had already commenced participation by monitoring the pre-election period processes, noting that YIAGA monitored primaries of four political parties namely APC, PDP, SPD and ADC in Kogi State.
She pointed out that Kogi State has a total of 2,548 polling units, adding that only 250 polling units would be randomly monitored with 500 Watch The Vote polling units observers deployed.
Mbamalu added that another 27 mobile roving observers will be deployed to 21 Local government collation centres, saying that they will use their mobile phones to send coded SMS messages of reports to YIAGA Africa’s WTV data center situated in Lokoja.
“Each observer will receive a structured observation checklist and a tally sheet to ensure uniformity in observation processes. WTO observers will report on opening of polling units, accreditation and voting, counting and the announcement /posting of results,” she stated.
She added that using Parallel Voting Techologies, YIAGA Africa is able to provide independent information to voters, candidates, political parties,INEC and election stakeholders on whether the official result for the presidential election truly reflect the ballot cast at polling units.