Having successfully deployed 500 Polling Unit Observers, 31 roving observers and 30 Collation Observers for the Osun Governorship elections, YIAGA Africa’s WatchingTheVote has validated the official results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) saying, the announcement on votes cast for the Osun gubernatorial election is overall consistent with its observation.
Speaking during the results announcement Press Conference, Dr Aisha Abdullahi, Co-Chair of YIAGA Africa’s Watching The Vote Osun Election Observation Mission, said this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday.
Abdullahi said the group’s Watching The Vote (WTV) project was an initiative to monitor the credibility of elections across the country, using its Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) Method.
She said that the PVT produced an estimated range based on the untainted polling unit results collected from a representative statistical sample of polling units.
She said this range was calculated, using long-established statistical formula.
“However, because the PVT is based on the untainted results from polling units, the official results must fall within the PVT’s estimated range for them to reflect the ballots cast at polling unit.
“Thus, if the official results fall within the PVT’s estimated ranges, then the official results accurately reflect the ballots cast at polling units but if the official results fall outside the PVT’s estimated ranges, then the official results were changed. ”
Abdullahi said that YIAGA Africa deployed 500 stationary observers in pairs to a representative statistical sample of 250 polling units and 31 mobile observers located in all 30 LGAs of Osun.
“The WTV Result statement is based on reports from 247 of 250 which is 99 per cent sampled polling units.
“YIAGA AFRICA had noted in its pre-election statement that the Osun Governorship election would be keenly contested and largely determined by swing LGAs and a small margin in the difference of votes between the top contesting parties.
“Our preliminary estimates indicated that turnout for the Osun gubernatorial election will be between 45.0 and 47.8 per cent based on official turnout figures collected from the statistical sample of polling units across the 30 LGAs in the state.
“As such YIAGA Africa can verify that INEC’s official turnout of 45.7 per cent falls within WTV’s estimated range and accurately reflects the turnout of voters.”
Abdullahi said that at dawn on, Sept. 23, YIAGA Africa WTV findings had also indicated that no party or candidate would receive more than 37.4 per cent of the vote share.
She said that based on the total votes announced so far by INEC, YIAGA Africa’s statistical analysis considering the margin of errors showed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) should receive between 33.6% and 37.4 per cent of the vote.
She said that the Action Democratic Party (ADP) should receive between 5.7 per cent and 8.9 per cent of the vote.
She added that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should receive between 32.5 per cent and 36.9 per cent of the vote while the Social Democratic Party (SDP) should receive between 15.1 and 19.7 per cen of the vote.
Abdullahi said that the rejected ballots fell outside YIAGA AFRICA’s range of 4.1 per cent to 5.3 per cent but given the rerun to be held at cancelled polling units and the closeness of the election, it likely did not affect the overall outcome.
“It is important to highlight the counting process at polling units was transparent and included representatives from the political parties that received the most votes.
“At 98 per cent of polling units, the polling officials showed how every ballot paper was marked to everyone present.”
Abdullahi said that during counting, in 96 per cent of polling units, there were no recorded incidents of intimidation, harassment against the polling officials.
She said that by 4:00 p.m., counting of gubernatorial ballot papers had finished in 78 per cent of polling units and at 99 per cent of polling units APC, PDP and party agents countersigned the result forms.
On average, 12 polling agents were present at the observed LGA Collation Centres during the collation process and they countersigned the results.
She said that in all 30 collation centres, no party agents disagreed with the results declared.
Abdulahi said that YIAGA Africa WTV for the Osun election focused on providing information on the election day process to build citizens confidence and to verify the accuracy of the official results.
She said that the importance of the result statement was hinged on the need to ensure that the official results for the Osun gubernatorial election truly reflected the ballots cast at polling units.
She said that YIAGA Africa was committed to confirming the official results if they reflected the ballots cast at polling units and exposing manipulation if the results were changed during the collation process.
However, after deploying 13 stationary observers for the Osun supplementary Governorship election, YIAGA AFRICA WTV reported that, political thugs prevented its observers from monitoring the election in certain polling units and that the observers could only gain access to such units when foreign observers arrived with a security contingent and that the domestic observers were still prevented from witnessing the counting and posting of results in certain location.
YIAGA said political thugs also deprived media practitioners from accessing and using mobile phones at the polling unit until the afternoon when the issues were resolved.
According to WTV observation findings, “In PU 002, Alapata Village, Oyere – II Ward 10, APC party agents were seen distributing cash and food to prospective voters within the vicinity of the polling unit.”
“In PU 004 Idi Iya, Olofun Orolu Ward 8, APC agents distributed cash to voters and security agents in a location not more than 100 feet from the polling units.
“YIAGA Africa Watching The Vote calls on the voters of Osun to remain calm and be peaceful as INEC works to collate and announce the results.
“YIAGA Africa also urges INEC to carry out timely investigations into the critical incidents at Ward 8, Kajola Village, PU 001 Orolu LGA that may have undermined the credibility of the polls in this location.
“YIAGA Africa calls on INEC to make public the data from the E-Collation and E-Transmission of results from the polling units at the polling unit level and in a timely manner.
“YIAGA Africa urges contesting political parties to call on their supporters to remain calm and where parties may feel aggrieved with the outcome of the election, such party should seek legal redress through the official channels.
“YIAGA calls on the security agents to remain alert, vigilant and neutral during this period and to apprehend and prosecute perpetrators of electoral violence especially those who prevented voters, observers and media practitioners from accessing some of the polling units.
“YIAGA calls on the media to promote credible and objective reportage of the supplementary elections.
“YIAGA Africa commends the people of Osun for maintaining the peace in the State throughout the period of the election.
“YIAGA would like to thank the people of Osun who volunteered to serve as non-partisan election observers on behalf of all the people of Osun,” the statement read