Ahead of the 2023 general elections, Yiaga Africa has trained citizen observers to observe the upcoming political party primaries for the major political parties who will be contesting in the elections. The training is aimed to prepare Watching The Vote (WTV) observers for the comprehensive observation 2023 per-election activities which kicked off with the political party primaries.
Speaking at the training, Yiaga Africa’s Head of Knowledge Management and Learning, Safiya Bichi said that it signifies the beginning of Yiaga Africa’s Watching The Vote election observation related activities for the 2023 polls. She said the Electoral Act makes it mandatory for parties to conduct primaries as a process of nominating candidates to contest in an election. “While the political parties determine the mode of primaries, it is imperative to ensure the process is transparent and inclusive”, she said.
She added that the aim of observing the party primaries is to provide timely information on the adherence to parties’ guidelines, the Electoral Act 2022 and the Nigerian Constitution.
“Since the only way of emerging as a candidate in Nigerian elections is through political parties, it is imperative to provide oversight on the process while urging parties to ensure internal democracy,” she said.
She revealed that Yiaga Africa will be observing the political party primaries for aspirants contesting for the party’s ticket to emerge as candidates with the observation led by the WTV State Focal Points (SFPs) in the states where the primaries will be conducted for the election.
She urged political parties to grant observation accreditation to citizen observers in order to enable neutral assessment of the process and recommendations that will improve the process. For the 2023 general election pre-election environment observation, Yiaga Africa will be deploying the State Focal Points to observe the party primaries. The organization will also be deploying Long term Observers (LTOs) in each Local Government Areas (LGA’s) in each of the 774 LGAs to observe the pre-election environment.