On 23 September 2018 the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the September 22 Osun Governorship Election as inconclusive. On Thursday 27 September 2018, rerun elections took place in seven polling units where INEC had cancelled the election. YIAGA AFRICA Watching the Vote (WTV) deployed 13 stationary observers to all seven polling units in the four local government areas (LGAs) where the supplementary elections held.
This observation effort complemented YIAGA AFRICA’s Election Day deployment, during which YIAGA AFRICA WTV 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 State. WTV also deployed 30 stationary observers to each of the 30 LGA result collation centres. WTV employed the parallel vote tabulation (PVT) methodology on Election Day which enabled YIAGA AFRICA to provide timely and accurate information on the conduct of accreditation, voting, and counting as well as to independently verify the official results and turnout for the Osun gubernatorial election as announced by INEC. YIAGA AFRICA Watching the Vote, Nigeria’s largest election observation mission is “Driven by Data – For All Nigerians – Beholden to None!”
In its statement on the results announcement, issued September 23, 2018, YIAGA AFRICA noted that voter turnout and the vote shares for all parties and candidates receiving more than 0.2% of the vote and as announced by INEC were consistent with the estimated ranges produced by YIAGA’s parallel vote tabulation. Rejected ballots (invalid votes), however, fell outside YIAGA’s estimated range of 4.1% to 5.3%. These findings were based on reports from 247 of 250 or 99% of sampled polling units. In a Preliminary Statement on the Supplementary Elections in Osun State, YIAGA AFRICA raised concerns about verified acts of violence and intimidation in Ward 8, Kajola Village, PU 001 Orolu LGA, including attacks on People’s Democratic Party (PDP) supporters, intimidation of media and preventing accredited WTV citizen observers from witnessing the counting and posting of results in this polling unit.
These attacks were carried out by political thugs sympathetic to the All Progressives Congress (APC). YIAGA AFRICA also noted verified incidents of vote buying carried out by APC representatives within close proximity of the polling units in Ward 1, Alapata Village, PU 002, Oyere LGA and Ward 8, Idi Iya, Orolu LGA.
YIAGA AFRICA Watching the Vote is committed to promoting electoral integrity. Based on the observation of the rerun election, Watching The Vote expresses grave concerns about the witnessed acts of violence and intimidation, some of which occurred in the full view of security agents. These incidents have a potential impact on the integrity of the rerun elections. Watching The Vote further notes that the critical incidents – especially the violence and intimidation in Ward 8, Kajola Village, PU 001 Orolu LGA impeded YIAGA AFRICA WTV’s observation effort on September 27 – and hence also impeded its ability to verify the outcome of the rerun election.
- YIAGA AFRICA calls upon all parties, all candidates and the good people of Osun State to show political maturity and maintain peace in the post-election period.
- YIAGA AFRICA urges all parties to adhere to legal provisions for filing electoral claims and disputes. Should such claims be filed, Watching The Vote calls upon the Governorship Election Tribunals to adjudicate claims in a timely manner and to make the outcomes available to the public.
- YIAGA AFRICA calls on the security forces to undertake an in-depth review of the conduct of agents deployed during the September 27 polls and to sanction any officer guilty of negligence, complicity and violation of human rights
- YIAGA AFRICA notes continued concerns about blatant vote buying within proximity of the polling units and calls on INEC and the deployed security agents to devise and publicize clear guidelines for apprehending and sanctioning any individuals caught engaging in such behaviour during elections.
- YIAGA AFRICA encourages INEC to make public the data from the E-Collation and E-Transmission of results and to publicize polling unit level results online in a timely manner to further enhance public confidence in the officially announced results.
YIAGA AFRICA commends INEC on the timely opening of polls with essential materials present as well as the timely announcement of results. YIAGA AFRICA furthermore commends the people of Osun State for their peaceful conduct throughout the period of the closely contested governorship election, which is a testament to the growing strength of Nigerian democracy. YIAGA calls on the people of Osun to remain peaceful, vigilant and active in holding the government accountable. The beauty of democracy is that elected officials represent the totality of the people and not a section of the people or a political party as such the people have the power to make demands on their government.
YIAGA AFRICA, through #WatchingTheVote, remains committed to promoting credible elections by providing independent information on the conduct of elections and independently verifying the accuracy of election results. #WatchingTheVote is For All Nigerians, Beholden to No One, and Driven By Data. YIAGA AFRICA will continue to observe the post-election period, including monitoring the adjudication of any eventual electoral claims or disputes.
Long live Osun state, long live Nigeria.
Dr. Aisha L. Abdullahi Co-Chair, Watching The Vote Osun Election Observation Mission
Ezenwa Nwagwu Co-Chair, Watching The Vote Osun Election Observation Mission
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