Ahead of the upcoming Anambra gubernatorial election slated for November 18, 2017, the Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA), has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Political parties, media and civil society with a mandate to provide voter information to intensify voter education campaigns across the 21 LGAs.
This was contained in the first phase Pre-Election Observation report released yesterday by YIAGA’s Watching The Vote (WTV) Campaign aimed at improving credibility and transparency of elections. The report, first of four (4) series to be released by YIAGA in build up to the election also observed the unavailability of sensitization programs on participation of marginalized and disadvantaged groups including; Youths, Women and People with Disability (PWD) in the upcoming election. Thus, YIAGA also enjoins all election stakeholders to target their voter education program at Youths, Women and Persons With Disability (PWDs).
The 5-page report, which sourced information from locally recruited and well trained #WTV election observers in the 21 Local Government Area (LGAs) of Anambra state showed there have been minimal voter education activities in the 21 Local Government Areas of the state, with INEC and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) being responsible for 1% and 11% of voter education activity observed respectively.
The report also advised INEC to adequately monitor and supervise its planned voter education programs at the local government level. while election stakeholders should ensure voter education campaigns or political empowerment are targeted at women, youth and persons living with disability, in order to increase their participation in the electoral process.
Ahead of Anambra Nov.18 gubernatorial election, YIAGA’s WatchingTheVote deployed long-term observers (LTO) to all the 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Anambra State to gather systematic information about the pre-election environment, including early warning signs of electoral violence. To achieve this, YIAGA’s LTOs are equipped with a checklist to observe and report on the electoral and political environment in the state.