The forthcoming general elections in Nigeria is Africa’s biggest election in 2019. This is so because of Nigeria’s strategic importance to Africa and its leading role in the West Africa region. Over 90 parties fielded candidates for what promises to be a keen electoral contest. With the election scheduled to hold in a couple of weeks, the political climate appears charged with several campaign activities by critical electoral stakeholders like political parties and their supporters. The electoral commission has also intensified its preparations for the elections. As the election day approaches, the demand of credible and peaceful elections remains profound in public discourse.
YIAGA AFRICA, a non-partisan Civil Society Organization (CSO) committed to deepening electoral integrity and citizens’ participation in elections in Africa has been undertaking pre-election observation (PREO) since November 9, 2018. The PREO is part of YIAGA AFRICA’s comprehensive election observation programme geared towards providing data and analysis on pre-election issues. The pre-election observation is conducted by 822 Watching the Vote (WTV) long-term observers deployed in each of the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs). YIAGA AFRICA will continue its observation of the pre-election environment until the week of the Presidential election. The goal is to facilitate evidence-based election planning and policy.
This report is the third of six reports to be issued by the organization covering the period of 7th December to 20th December, 2018, and it is based on reports received from all 774 Long-Term Observers (LTOs) across the country. In this report, we present findings on the trends on political party campaigns, the participation of women, youth and persons with disability in the political process, the preparedness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), voter education and information activities, as well as issues relating to pre-election violence.