Towards Bayelsa/Kogi Governorship Elections
WTV has so far deployed 48 Long Term Observers (LTOs), 21 LTOs deployed to 8 LGAs in Bayelsa state and 27 LTOs deployed to 21 LGAs in Kogi State, that would be observing the activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), voter education and information activities, political campaign activities, inclusion. This report is the first of four reports to be issued by YIAGA AFRICA WTV, it reflects the findings between 19th September to October 3rd, 2019 and it is based on reports received from all the 8 LGAs in Bayelsa and 21 LGAs in Kogi state.Read more about this growing trend in our report
Campaign rallies are minimal in Kogi state
Political party activities especially campaign rallies are minimal in Kogi state, as none of the popular political parties in the state.
as none of the popular political parties in the state (ADC, APC, PDP, SDP) seem not to be engaging voters. WTV Kogi report shows that only 4%, 38% and 23%, of LTOs either witnessed or heard of rallies conducted by ADC, APC and PDP, respectively. And in Bayelsa state, 10%, 65%, 65%, and 5% of LTOs either witnessed or heard of rallies conducted by the same ADC, APC and PDP, as well as SDP.
Political parties, especially in Kogi state should increase their activities of engaging voters with their policy plan while soliciting their support and votes.
Political parties should invest in getting out votes and mobilizing voters to turn out peacefully to vote and not delve into undemocratic ways (buying of PVCs and inducing voters) of winning elections.
Voter Education Activities:
The findings from Bayelsa state reveals that voter education activities were conducted by INEC, NOA and CSO in 80%, 50% and 85% LGAs respectively, and in Kogi state, voter education activities were conducted by INEC in 58% of LGAs, by NOA in 29% of LGAs and by CSO in 65% LGAs Most notably.
TThe gubernatorial elections will be having a large number of political parties contesting (23 in Kogi and 45 in Bayelsa), this may increase pressure on INEC and more importantly on polling officials on election day. INEC should, therefore, beef up its oversight and monitoring mechanisms that will further strengthen and ensure compliance to the electoral laws and guidelines, while avoiding unnecessary postponements of polls.
Participation of Marginalized Groups (Women, Youth and PWD’s)
For the purpose of inclusion and diversity, targeted voter information to marginalized and disadvantaged groups is encouraged. WTV LTOs reported very low interventions targeted at enhancing and increasing the capacity of women, youth and PWDs in the upcoming elections.
In this reporting period, The LTOs witnessed/heard of voter information/education targeted at women by INEC, CSOs, and other stakeholders in Okehi, Ankpa, Dekina, Kabba Bunu LGAs in Kogi State, respectively.
The same was witnessed or heard for youth-targeted voter education activities by INEC, CSOs and other stakeholders in Yenagoa, Brass and Sagbama LGAs in Bayelsa state respectively.
Early Warning Signs
of Electoral Violence:
Violent Physical and Verbal Attacks During Political Party Activities
During this reporting period, WTV LTOs reported hearing of attacks or intimidation of candidates and supporters and violent physical or verbal attacks on street political campaign trails in Okehi and Kabba/Bunu LGAs in Kogi State and in Southern Ijaw, Nembe and Sagbama LGAs in Bayelsa State.
WTV LTOs also monitored and tracked voter inducement through the distribution of money or gift items. They however, reported to have witnessed or heard of distribution of money or gift items by candidates or their supporters
The process adopted in this PREO involves the deployment of 48 carefully recruited and trained LTOs in every LGA in Bayelsa and Kogi State to systematically observe and gather information concerning the pre-election environment as well as early warning signs of conflict and electoral violence. These observers are equipped with a checklist to record the relevant information and provide verifiable findings. 46 of the LTOs report bi-weekly on a standard set of questions at the local government level, while the others are mobile within the state and they report critical incidents only. The 46 LTOs are also recruited from their LGA of residence where they are expected to monitor electoral activities: voter education and information, political campaign activities, activities of marginalized groups (youth, women and PWDs) and election-related violence, all round the clock. Additionally, they track activities of electoral stakeholders like; INEC, political parties, NOA, CSOs, as well as women, youths and PWDs.
All findings from the LTOs are transmitted to the WTV data center via coded SMS and are thereafter, analyzed and reported periodically. However, in the case of critical incidents, the WTV project escalates immediately to sister CSOs like Search for Common ground and Clean Foundation and Security agencies like; Police and NSDC as well as INEC. YIAGA AFRICA PREO findings are obtained from the entire LGAs within the states and not from a representative of the entire state thus providing an indication of emerging trends during the pre-election period. Unlike the WTV election-day observation methodology, that relies on sample-based observation, YIAGA AFRICA WTV PREO uses a more traditional approach that investigates the activities in LGAs of Bayelsa and Kogi State. YIAGA AFRICA therefore, encourages users of this report to independently corroborate and respond appropriately to trends identified in this report.
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