2019 Elections: YIAGA Africa’s #WatchingTheVote Commences Structures Formation Nationwide

As part of preparations for observation of the 2019 general elections, YIAGA Africa’s #Watching the Vote (WTV) Project has commenced recruitment of volunteers across the 36 States including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) who would serve as State Focal Points (SFPs) on the project.
The SFPs will coordinate and manage the election observation recruitment as well as recruitment of project personnel at the local government level and by extension deployment of volunteers to observe the Election Day process.
Based on the project’s implementation plan, 48 State Focal Point officers are to be recruited as determined by the sampled size to be used for deployment of observers. Some states are large due to the voting population and may require more than one SFP officer to manage observers.

The recruitment which is done in phases saw recruitment of SFPs for Anambra, Ondo and Osun States conducted in August 2016. Currently, recruitment of SFPs for Borno, Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Lagos and Bayelsa and Rivers States is underway. The process involves visits to the states by the WTV team for physical assessment of applicants.

Scouting for the Best to execute Election Observation across Nigeria
Due to their geographical nature, Borno, Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Lagos, Bayelsa and Rivers states would have 2 or more SFPs. The technical demand of the WTV project requires SFPs to understudy the deployment of the Parallel Vote Tabulation election-day observation methodology during the 2018 Ekiti and Osun States gubernatorial election. This will involve attending Training of Trainers session on Election Day procedures, systematic deployment of observers and reporting in near real time on Election Day.

The next phase of recruitment will commence from May to June 2018. 27 SFPs from 26 States are expected to be recruited. When fully constituted, the SFPs will converge in Abuja in June 2018 where they will be inducted into the project and their role expectations would be explained.

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#WatchingTheVote is a citizen led election observation initiative aimed at enhancing the integrity of elections in Nigeria using technological tools like sms and evidence-based research methodology tools for election observation.

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