YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote (WTV) press briefing on the WTV statement on result announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the Osun Governorship Election. The WTV Result statement is based on results from the polling units as reported from the WTV sampled polling units in each of the 30 Local Government area.
For the Election Day Deployment, YIAGA AFRICA WTV deployed 500 stationary observers in pairs to a representative statistical sample of 250 polling units and 31 mobile observers located in all 30 local government areas (LGAs) of Osun state. WTV also deployed 30 stationary observers to each of the 30 LGA Result collation centres. WTV employed the 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. YIAGA AFRICA Watching the Vote, Nigeria’s largest election observation mission is “Driven by Data – For All Nigerians – Beholden to None!”
This result statement is based on reports from 247 of 250 (99%) sampled polling units.
YIAGA AFRICA had noted in its re-election statement that the Osun Governorship election will be keenly contested and largely determined by swing local government areas and a small margin in the difference of votes between the top contesting parties. Yesterday, the people of Osun State peacefully went to the polls to elect a governor that will lead the state for the next four years.
Turnout and Result Projection
YIAGA AFRICA’s preliminary estimates indicated that turnout for the Osun gubernatorial election will be between 45.0% and 47.8% based on official turnout figures collected from the PVT’s representative statistical sample of polling units across the 30 LGAs in the state.
As such YIAGA can verify that INEC’s official turnout of 45.7% falls within WTV’s estimated range and accurately reflects the turnout of voters.
At dawn today, 23 September, YIAGA AFRICA WTV findings had also indicated that no party/candidate will receive more than 37.4% of the vote share.
YIAGA AFRICA Watching the vote for the Osun Governorship Election focused on providing information on the election day process to build citizens confidence and to verify the accuracy of the official results. The importance of the result statement is hinged on the need to ensure that the official results for the Osun gubernatorial election truly reflect the ballots cast at polling units.
#WatchingTheVote Election Day Observation
The YIAGA AFRICA WTV sample includes polling units in every one of the 30 LGAs in Osun. The number of sampled polling units in each LGA is based on the percentage of polling units and registered voters in the LGA. (See Appendix 2)
All observers were carefully recruited according to established criteria to ensure that they are independent and non-partisan. All observers had to attend a thorough training on how to observe the process and send in observation reports via coded text messages using their mobile phones. All observers had to sign a pledge of neutrality and were given a code of conduct to which they must adhere when observing. Finally, all observers had to participate in two simulation exercises before election day to demonstrate that they were fully prepared to observe.
YIAGA AFRICA’s WTV observers witnessed the entire process on Election Day and by 7:30am, 95% of the WTV observers were ready to observe at their assigned polling units. Every stationary observer sent in coded text messages containing their reports to YIAGA AFRICA’s data centre located here in Osogbo. Throughout the day they sent in a total of eleven text messages on the conduct of the election – including sending the official results for their assigned polling units as announced by the INEC officials. The figures they reported were the untainted official results for the polling unit as announced by the polling officials.
For turnout and the vote for each candidate/political party, the PVT produces an estimated range based on the untainted polling unit results collected from a representative statistical sample of polling units. This range is calculated using long established statistical formula. However, because the PVT is based on the untainted results from polling units, the official results must fall within the PVT’s estimated range for them to reflect the ballots cast at polling unit. Thus, if the official results fall within the PVT’s estimated ranges, then the official results accurately reflect the ballots cast at polling units. However, if the official results fall outside the PVT’s estimated ranges, then the official results were changed. YIAGA AFRICA is committed to confirming the official results if they reflect the ballots cast at polling units and exposing manipulation if the results are changed during the collation process.
Statement on the Results
Based on the total votes announced so far by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), YIAGA AFRICA’s statistical analysis (considering the margin of errors) shows that the All Progressives Congress (APC) should receive between 33.6% and 37.4% of the vote, the Action Democratic Party (ADP) should receive between 5.7% and 8.9% of the vote. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) should receive between 32.5% and 36.9% of the vote. The Social Democratic Party (SDP) should receive between 15.1% and 19.7% of the vote.
While the INEC initial official announcement on the votes cast for the 2018 Osun State gubernatorial Election is consistent with the YIAGA WTV estimated range it is important to note that the election is not over and outcomes yet to be concluded.
Accordingly, YIAGA will continue with her observation of the process until a winner is declared and will issue a final result verification statement once INEC announces the official result for the Governorship election.
Counting, Signing and Posting of Results at Polling Units
It is important to highlight the counting process at polling units was transparent and included representatives from the political parties that received the most votes.
- At 98% of polling units the polling officials showed how every ballot paper was marked to everyone present.
- At 96% of polling units the polling officials sorted the ballot papers into piles by political party and rejected ballots.
- On average 8 party agents were present in the polling units during counting.
- At 11% of polling units the ballot papers were counted more than once.
- In 6% of polling units an APC party agent requested a recount
- In 5% of polling units a PDP party agent requested a recount
- In 3% of polling units an SDP party agent requested a recount
- In 2% of polling units an agent from any other political party than APC, PDP or SDP requested a recount
- During counting, in 96% of polling units there were no recorded incidents of intimidation, harassment against the polling officials.
- By 4:00 pm, counting of gubernatorial ballot papers had finished in 78% of polling units
- At 99% of polling units APC party agents countersigned the form EC.8A
- At 99% of polling units PDP party agents countersigned the form EC.8A
- At 97% of polling units SDP party agents countersigned the form EC.8A
- A party agent other than APC, PDP or SDP countersigned the form EC.8A in 92% of polling units
- APC party agents received a copy of Form EC.8A in 99% of polling units
- PDP party agents received a copy of Form EC.8A in 98% of polling units.
- SDP party agents received a copy of Form EC.8A in 96% of polling units.
- In 94% of polling units, the results were posted for the public to see.
- Presiding officers in 79% of polling units reported when observers asked that they used the smart card reader to transmit the polling unit results electronically. 75% of the presiding officers reported that the transmission was successful.
YIAGA deployed 30 observers to each of the LGA Collation Centres at the end of voting on the evening of September 22. Reports are based on findings from 30 observers; however collation was disrupted at Ife East LGA and only commenced during the early hours of the morning on 23 September.
- On average, 12 polling agents were present at the observed LGA Collation Centres during the collation process.
- Form EC.8B from each ward was submitted to the collation officer in all 30 Collation Centres.
- The Electronic Collation Support Secretariat was used to crosscheck results for computational accuracy in 28 of the collation centres.
- An APC party agent countersigned the results form in all 30 LGA Collation Centres observed.
- A PDP party agent countersigned the results form in all 30 of the collation centres.
- An SDP party agent countersigned the results form in 28 of the collation centres.
- A party agents other than APC, PDP or SDP signed the results form in 29 of the collation centres.
- In all 30 collation centres, no party agents disagreed with the results declared.
Watching the vote observed some critical incidents and after verifying its authenticity notes:
- YIAGA Africa recorded two incidents of harassment and intimidation of observers. WTV Observers were harassed, beaten and detained by political thugs in Polling Unit 006, Apepe Village, Ward 5 in Atakumosa West LGA and were released by 3pm. While party agents in Polling Unit 002, Gbalade PU, Oke Amala Ward in Ifelodun LGA refused to allow observers observe although this was later addressed by the Divisional Police Officer for Ifelodun LGA
- In three polling units observed by WTV, ballots/ballot boxes were snatched or stuffed during accreditation and voting, specifically in Iseki Oloti Polling Unit 001 in Ede North, Otagere Village Polling Unit 005 in Ede South LGA, and Ward 8, Polling Unit 001 in Orolu LGA
- WTV observed vote buying in four locations, specifically Ward 3 Polling Unit 005 Molete, Iwo LGA, Oore Community PU Code 006 in Boripe LGA, L.A. School Adereto Polling Unit 004 in Ife South, and Ilasa Town Hall Polling Unit 002 in Obokun LGA.
- YIAGA AFRICA commends the people of Osun for the peaceful conduct of the election and further calls on the Political Parties and their supports to maintain the peace as INEC concludes on the plan for the elections in the cancelled polling units
- YIAGA AFRICA calls on INEC to make public the list of the cancelled polling units and the plans for the conduct of the election.
- YIAGA calls on INEC to ensure that the electoral guidelines for the conduct of elections are strictly adhered to in the conduct of the election in the cancelled polling units
- YIAGA encourages INEC to make public the data from the E-Collation and E-Transmission of result from the polling units.
- The incidence of vote buying and voter inducement during elections undermines political legitimacy and makes a mockery of our democracy. This growing trend needs to be abated ahead of subsequent elections. While YIAGA commends INEC for the ban of phones and camera’s at the voting booth, YIAGA calls on INEC to ensure strict compliance in the set-up configuration at the polling units and proper training of the ad hoc officials on the Electoral Laws regulating voting.
- While YIAGA commends the security for their efforts to apprehend persons involved in vote buying, there is a greater need for the Security agencies to devise new strategies for detecting and apprehending individuals or groups involved in vote buying and selling during elections.
- Stakeholders like INEC, NOA and CSOs should engage in robust advocacy against vote buying. Political parties and candidates should be encouraged to promote issued-based participation at elections.
- There is need for openness and transparency in the deployment of security personnel for elections. This will boost confidence in electoral stakeholders and citizens. The membership of the Inter agency Committee on Election Security (ICCES) needs to be reviewed to mainstream other stakeholders like civil society.
- YIAGA AFRICA we recommend increased voter education on the voting process as it relates to thmbpurinting and folding of ballot papers considering the figure on rejected ballots was high compared to 2014 Osun Election.
YIAGA AFRICA commends INEC on the timely opening of polls with essential materials present as well as the timely announcement of results.
YIAGA AFRICA commends the people of Osun State for their peaceful conduct during the process of voting and counting and for their patience with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare the official results for the Election. The Election which was keenly contested as observed from difference in the votes so far indicates an active and competitive political party configuration in Osun State and has huge potential to ensure that the winning party work for the people and deliver on their promises. The beauty of democracy remains that our elected officials are accountable to all citizens irrespective of party affiliations or which party is in government.
YIAGA AFRICA thanks the many Nigerians across the state who volunteered to serve as non-partisan election observers on behalf of all the people of Osun. YIAGA AFRICA commends the dedication of the permanent INEC staff in Abuja and Osun state who organized the election; the commitment of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members who served as poll officials, and the professionalism of the security agents who worked to keep the peace on Election Day. YIAGA AFRICA also appreciates the collaboration of our development partners and their commitment to Nigerian initiatives to ensure credible elections in our country.
YIAGA AFRICA, through the #WatchingTheVote initiative, is committed to promoting credible elections by providing independent information on the conduct of elections and independently verifying the accuracy of election results. #WatchingTheVote is For All Nigerians, Beholden to No One, and Driven By Data.
Long live Osun state, long live Nigeria.
Dr. Aisha L. Abdullahi
Co-Chair, Watching The Vote Osun Election Observation Mission
Co-Chair, Watching The Vote Osun Election Observation Mission
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