Ahead of the November 6th Governorship election in Anambra State, Yiaga Africa through its Watching The Vote project has kicked off a citizens engagement radio program. This signals the commencement of voter education and sensitization campaigns for the citizens of Anambra state to ensure improved citizens’ participation for the election.
The weekly programme tagged “WatchingTheVote Hour” provides a platform for citizens to engage election stakeholders before, during and after the Governorship election in the state which will take place on November 6, 2021. Watching The Vote Hour kicked-off live on Ogene Radio 98.3FM from 9-10am on Wednesday, 25th August 2021 and will run till the end of the Governorship Election. In the course of the show, we will be discussing issues around election observation, how election observation is critical in ensuring credible elections, the role of citizens in election observation and how the advanced Election Day observation methodology, called the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) will be used.
The nine-week programme will host guests from Civil Society Organisations, Electoral Commission, Security Agencies and Stakeholders from Women, Youth and People With Disability groups to share perspectives on inclusive elections and political inclusion of marginalised groups. During the first episode, Program Manager, Paul James decried the steady decline in voter turnout saying the citizens remain the big losers as voter apathy usually enables manipulation of the process. According to him, this program will provide a platform for citizens of Anambra state to engage representatives from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on effective citizens’ participation.
Having trained and deployed observers across all Local Government Areas in the state, Yiaga Africa will share periodic findings and emerging concerns from its Pre-election observation across all Local Government Areas of Anambra State. This will enable stakeholders to take necessary actions that will ensure credible elections are held. “This is also a huge opportunity for citizens to raise concerns around voter registration, collection of permanent voters cards and engaging the electoral process with credible information”, he said.
He said, Watching the Vote will also provide accurate information on the electoral process while deploying the Parallel Vote Tabulation methodology which will enable Yiaga Africa to verify the accuracy of election results. “Yiaga Africa’ Watching the Vote project is a citizen-led election observation initiative aimed at enhancing the integrity of elections in Nigeria”, he said.