Yiaga Africa has vowed to collaborate with Civil Society Organisations in Osun State to promote electoral transparency ahead of the July 16th Governorship election in the state. The Organisations’s head of elections project, Paul James said this during an engagement with Civil Society Organisations tagged Parallel Vote Tabulation academy on Wednesday in Osogbo, Osun State. The event according to him is aimed to reflect on the preparation of election stakeholders and also coordinate with leadership of CSOs in the state to ensure a more transparent, free and credible process.
James said, this became necessary giving the challenges experienced during the 2018 Governorship elections in the state where the first round of voting did not produce a clear winner while the citizen observers were prevented from accessing the polling units during the second round of elections. He said “we want to see how we can navigate through all those challenges we saw in the previous election and how we can ensure a hitch free electoral process in Osun State.
He called on Civil Society Organisations in the state to intensify voter education activities in a bid to improve citizens participation in the electoral process saying voter education has not been in the tempo that is expected. However, he lauded residents of Osun for participating in the Continuous Voters Registration while encouraging them to ensure it translates into votes on election day.
“We want to get commitment from CSOs in the state to ensure voter education messages trickle down to all their network and constituents to get on board every citizen in the state to ensure effective participation in the election”, he said.
Paul lamented the increase in the spate of voter inducement saying it is unfortunate that vote buying has become and indelible mark in our elections. He said, “It is happening because politicians are becoming lazy and looking for easy route rather than conducting voter education. It is also happening because our elections are becoming better”. He said technology and other innovations has made it more difficult to engage in electoral malpractice, adding that politicians have realized that they have to go back to the people.
He concluded that Yiaga Africa’s Watching the Vote will be using an advanced election day observation methodology called the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT)to observe the Osun election. He said, the PVT is an election day observation methodology that leverages statistics and technology for the observation of the process of voting and counting and tallying of results.