Yiaga Africa’s attention has been drawn to news reports and publications credited to Ismail Omipidan, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Osun state, alluding that the recently launched Yiaga Africa Election Result Analysis Dashboard (ERAD) report for the Ekiti and Osun Governorship election “confirms” that the All Progressives Congress candidate, Gboyega Oyetola won the election. We outrightly reject this assertion and categorically state that the ERAD report did not in any way suggest the winner or loser of the recently concluded June/July, Ekiti and Osun Governorship elections. Instead, the ERAD report highlighted certain shortcomings with the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) upload of results to the INEC Results Viewing (IREV) Portal and recommendations for improving the process ahead of the 2023 elections.
Yiaga Africa’s deployed a comprehensive election observation methodology in Ekiti and Osun Governorship elections. First, Yiaga Africa observed the pre-election period and deployed citizen observers on election day using the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) to provide timely information on the process and verify election results. The Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) election observation methodology is a globally recognized election observation tool used by citizen groups. It is one of the most accurate and reliable election observation methodology that can independently verify the accuracy of election day results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Yiaga Africa has deployed the PVT in 12 elections in Nigeria including the 2019 Presidential election.
The ERAD report corroborates the PVT findings contained in the report on the Ekiti and Osun Governorship elections released on August 27th, 2022 which clearly revealed that the results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the Ekiti and Osun election were CONSISTENT with votes cast at the polling units. Had the official results been changed at the Ward, LGA or State collation centers, the official results would not have fallen within the Yiaga Africa PVT estimated ranges. Thus, we strongly stand by our PVT findings which have in no way contradicted the ERAD report.
Secondly, in partnership with Channels Television, Yiaga Africa deployed the Election Results Analysis Dashboard (ERAD) to promote transparency in the transmission of election results through the download and analysis of polling units’ results uploaded on the INEC Election Results Viewing Portal (IReV). The ERAD report launched on 9th September 2022 identified the successes, critical lessons learnt and gaps during the upload of election results on the INEC Results Viewing (IReV) Portal for the Ekiti and Osun Governorship elections. Some of the gaps include; the upload of incorrect election forms, blurry images and poorly captured photographs of result sheets, and wrongly imputed and omitted data on results sheets amongst others. Thus, the ERAD did not process 87 (2.3%) out of the 3763 polling unit results in the state. In the report, Yiaga Africa offered recommendations for INEC to improve its use of the IREV portal in future elections.
Following an analysis of the pre-election data released by INEC on collected PVCs per polling unit in Osun state, Yiaga Africa identified inconsistencies in the data of collected PVCs in 0.7% (30 Polling Units) of polling units in 12 Local Governments in Osun state. The total number of collected PVCs was slightly higher than the number of registered voters in those polling units. Specifically, Yiaga Africa spotted a difference of 1,882 PVCs in the 30 polling units. While this discrepancy in the pre-election data for PVC collection is inconsequential to the outcome of the elections, Yiaga Africa calls on INEC to clarify the reasons behind the discrepancies observed between the number of PVCs collected and the number of registered voters.
Again, we wish to state unequivocally the ERAD report which has been publicly released does not contradict our PVT findings in any way. While Political parties have the right to reference our reports, they must do so with a high sense of responsibility. Copies of our report on the Ekiti and Osun elections can be downloaded from the organization’s website; www.yiaga.org.
Yiaga Africa restates its commitment to sharing accurate data and information on the conduct of elections and results based on its election observation methodology.