Preliminary Statement on Anambra Gubernatorial Election

Preliminary Statement on Anambra
Gubernatorial Election
Delivered at Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Abuja on November 17th, 2013

Distinguished guests, our respected partners, stakeholders, ladies and
gentlemen of the media, on behalf of the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG)
Quick Count Working Group I am delighted to welcome you to this press
conference on our preliminary observation findings for the Anambra
Gubernatorial Election held on Saturday, 16 November 2013.
TMG is the premier citizen observer network in the country, comprising over
400 civic organizations, and it has observed all elections since the end of
military rule in 1998/99. For the Anambra Gubernatorial Election, TMG
deployed 633 citizen observers across all senatorial districts and local
government areas (LGAs), by far the largest number of any group. On
Sunday, TMG redeployed 28 observers for the second day of voting in Idemili
North.

Employing the advanced Quick Count methodology, the gold standard for
election observation, TMG’s citizen observers were deployed to a
representative random sample of 300 polling stations located across every
senatorial district and all 21 local government areas (LGAs). Thus, TMG
observers were in every corner of the state, from the capital Awka to the most
remote riverine areas in Ogbaru.
Based on reports from our citizen observers, which they sent in via coded text
message using mobile phones, TMG finds that while many elements of the
Election Day process were adequate, there were serious shortcomings,
including:

1. Late arrival of election materials at polling units – as of 7:30am,
observers reported that only 39% of polling units across the state had
their election materials and by 9am only 43% of polling units were able
to open;
2. No elections in five wards of Idemili North LGA – Abatete, Nkpor I,
Nkpor II, Obosi and Ogidi I. Observers at all 14 sampled polling stations
in these wards reported no election;
3. Individuals with voter’s cards were refused accreditation – at 19% of
polling units, between 6 and 25 people with voter’s cards were denied
accreditation, for whatever reason and could not vote;
4. Simultaneous accreditation and voting (i.e. individuals being allowed to accredit and
vote after accreditation had closed) created the possibility of illegal voting – at 28% of
polling units, 50 or more people were accredited during voting; and
5. A significant number of voters who left polling units after accreditation did not return to
vote – at 31% of polling units, the number of accredited voters exceeded the number
of actual voters by more than 10%.

While INEC should be acknowledged for providing an opportunity to some voters in Idemili
North to vote on Sunday, these shortcomings undermine public confidence in the electoral
process – especially since many of these issues are not new and have plagued past
elections. For the 2015 elections to be credible, INEC must work in partnership with
political parties, civic organizations, and government bodies to find practical solutions to
these problems.

Methodology

TMG is a member of the Global Network of Domestic Election Monitors (GNDEM), as well
as the West African of Election Observer Network (WAEON) and conducts all of its citizen
observation efforts in accordance with the “Declaration of Global Principles for
Nonpartisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organisations.”
TMG’s innovative Quick Count observation effort is intended to help promote credible
elections in Nigeria that are conducted in accordance with international and regional
standards as well as the laws of our country by providing real time independent nonpartisan
information on the conduct of Election Day processes – setup of polling units,
accreditation of voters, voting and counting.

The Quick Count methodology involves deploying trained and accredited citizen observers
in pairs to a representative random sample of polling units carefully selected by a trained
statistician. Because reports are received from a representative sample of polling units,
the findings can be extrapolated to all polling units (even those which TMG did not deploy
observers) based on long-established statistical principles. Thus, the findings from the
Quick Count hold for all 4,608 polling units in Anambra. The Quick Count methodology is
the gold standard in citizen observation.

TMG’s Quick Count also takes advantage of the latest developments in information and
communication technologies (ICTs). TMG has established a National Information Centre
(NIC) in Abuja with a sophisticated database and text messaging system. To ensure real
time information, TMG observers submit their reports via coded text messages using their
mobile phones. Reports are received directly into a database and processed.

Deployment of Observers

TMG deployed a total of 633 observers for the Anambra Gubernatorial Election. Of these,
33 were mobile supervisors who moved around the state and 600 were stationary
assigned to a specific polling units. TMG stationary observers sent in more than 3,000 text
messages with over 20,000 individual pieces of information about the conduct of the
Election Day process.

Stationary observers were deployed in pairs to a representative random sample of 300
polling units across all three senatorial districts and all 21 local government areas (LGAs).
To ensure the representativeness of the sample, it was stratified by senatorial district and
LGA. This means that the proportion of sampled polling units closely matches the
proportion of all polling units in each senatorial district and in each LGA. For example
Anambra North has 30.2% percent of all polling units (1,391 of 4,608) and 30.0% percent
of the sampled polling stations are in Anambra North (180 of 300). Appendix I provides a
detailed breakdown of the sampled polling stations by senatorial district and LGA.
TMG conducted two rounds of training workshops for LGA supervisors as well as 29
training workshops for observers. All observers were accredited with INEC. On the
morning of Election Day, there were isolated incidents of TMG observers not being
permitted to observe, but all of these issues were ultimately resolved.
In response to the INEC decision to extend a second day of voting in Obosi ward in Idemili
North LGA, TMG deployed 28 citizen observers on Sunday to observe the process in the
initially sampled polling units. According to reports from TMG citizen observers on
Saturday, there were similar problems of no elections taking place in Abatete, Nkpor I,
Nkpor II and Ogidi I wards, which are also in Idemili North LGA, as well two polling units in
Ogbaru LGA.

Pre-Election

Elections are more than just Election Day, and TMG has been observing the entire
process for the Anambra Gubernatorial Election.

TMG’s main findings related to the pre-election period include:

1. The judiciary speedily resolved electoral petitions, but the spate of litigation over
party primaries is a worrying sign.
2. INEC’s decision to release the voter’s register to political parties in electronic
format was a very positive improvement. In the future, the voter’s register should
also be made available to civic organisations.
3. INEC should also publish the results of the election by polling unit.
4. An encouraging development was the holding of candidate debates as it served
as an opportunity to make the election more substantive and issue-based.
However, it did not appear that all 23 gubernatorial candidates engaged in serious
campaigning.
5. There were widespread allegations of the buying up of voter cards by politicians.
Setup of Polling Units
There was widespread late delivery of materials that delayed the setup of polling stations
across Anambra. As of 7:30am, only 37% of polling units had their election materials.

When materials finally arrived, at 58% of polling units observers reported two polling
officials; at 38% of polling units three or more polling officials were present; while at just
4% of polling units there was only one polling official present.
Overall, 47% of polling officials were women. At 20% of polling units, observers reported
no female polling officials, while at 44% of polling units one polling official was a woman,
and at 36% two or more polling officials were women.
At 94% of polling units, observers reported the presence of security officials.
At 52% of polling units, observers reported four or more political party agents; at 39% of
polling units, there were one to three political party agents present, while 9% of polling
units had no agents from any party present.

Accreditation of Voters

The widespread late delivery of election materials delayed the start of accreditation of
voters across the state.
By 9am, an hour after the official opening of polls, observers reported only 43% of polling
units were open.
When accreditation commenced, at 92% of polling units, observers reported no one was
accredited to vote who did not have a voter’s card, and at just 8% of polling units a few
people (fewer than five individuals) were accredited who did not have a voter’s card.
Nowhere did observers report large numbers of people being accredited to vote without
voter’s cards.
At 51% of polling units, observers reported no one with a voter’s card refused
accreditation. However, of concern, at 19% of polling units significant numbers of people
(6 to 25) were refused accreditation despite having presented a voter’s card. While there
are many possible explanations for this, it is nonetheless a worrying trend.
At 96% of polling units, observers reported polling officials making a tick next to the name
of every accredited voter, while at 99% of polling units polling officials marked a finger on
every accredited voter’s left hand with ink.
At only 24% of polling units, observers reported that all accredited voters remained at the
polling stations after being accredited, while at 15% of polling units, half or more of
accredited voters left after being accredited. Though not legally required to remain, if
accredited voters do not remain at their polling unit, it increases the potential for multiple
voting.
At 93% of polling units, observers report no incidents of harassment or intimidation of
voters.

Voting

The widespread late delivery of materials also seriously delayed the start of voting across
the state.
Observers reported that at 39% of polling units, voting had not yet commenced as of 1pm.
As of 2pm, 10% of polling units voting had still not started.
When voting commenced, at 99% of polling units observers report the ballot box was
shown to be empty before being closed and locked, and at 93% of polling units the polling
unit was set up so voters could mark their ballot in secret.
At 97% of polling units observers reported no one was allowed to vote without first
showing his/her voter’s card. At 100% of polling units, observers reported that the polling
official made a tick next to the name of every voter in the voters register.
At 99% of polling stations, observers reported all ballot papers were stamped and signed
before being given to voters, and at 97% of polling stations every voter had a finger on
his/her right hand marked with ink.
At 28% of polling units, observers reported that more than 50 or more people were
accredited to vote during voting. At another 17% of polling units, 26 to 50 people were
accredited to vote during voting. In both cases, this creates the potential for illegal voting.
At only 58% of polling stations was no one accredited to vote during voting.
However at 31% of polling units, the number of accredited voters exceeded the number of
actual voters by more than 10%. This suggests that a significant number of accredited
voters who depart polling units after being accredited do not return to vote.
At 11% of polling units observers reported incidents of harassment during voting.

Counting

At 95% of polling units observers reported that all of the political party agents present
agreed with the official results as announced by INEC. In particular,
 At 1% of polling units APC agents disagreed with the official results;
 At 2% of polling units APGA agents disagreed with the official results;
 At 1% of polling units LP agents disagreed with the official results; and
 At 2% of polling units PDP agents disagreed with the official results.
At 96% of polling units, observers reported the results were posted in a public place.
In only 3% of polling units did observers report any incidents of harassment or intimidation
during the counting of ballots.
At 100% of polling units, observers reported that they agreed that the ballots were
properly counted, and the announced results reflected the ballots cast.

Conclusion

The Anambra Gubernatorial Election is not yet over. TMG calls on all the people of
Anambra State to remain calm as they await INEC’s announcement of results. TMG will
continue to observe the process, and as appropriate issue additional statements and
reports. As part of the Quick Count, TMG will provide independent verification of the
official results as announced by INEC to enhance the transparency and accountability of
the process.

God Bless Nigeria. Thank you for your attention.

Comrade Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi
Chairman

Media Contact Person:
Eneruvie Enakoko
08094648891, 08033188864
renokoko@yahoo.com

 

Appendix 1: Distribution of INEC Polling Stations and TMG Quick Count Sample by
Senatorial District for the Anambra Gubernatorial Election
Senatorial District
INEC Polling
Units
Percent of
INEC Polling
Units
Sampled
Polling Units
Percent of
Sampled Polling
Units
Anambra Central 1,548 33.5% 102 34.0%
Anambra North 1,391 30.2% 90 30.0%
Anambra South 1,669 36.2% 108 36.0%
Total 4,608 100.0% 300 100.0%
Appendix 2: Distribution of INEC Polling Stations and TMG Quick Count Sample by
Local Government Area for the Anambra Gubernatorial Election
LGA
INEC Polling
Units
Percent of
INEC Polling
Units
Sampled
Polling Units
Percent of
Sampled Polling
Units
Aguata 300 6.5% 19 6.3%
Anambra East 200 4.3% 13 4.3%
Anambra West 158 3.4% 10 3.3%
Anaocha 310 6.7% 20 6.7%
Awka North 130 2.8% 9 3.0%
Awka South 255 5.5% 17 5.7%
Ayamelum 173 3.8% 11 3.7%
Dunukofia 146 3.2% 10 3.3%
Ekwusigo 175 3.8% 11 3.7%
Idemili North 306 6.6% 20 6.7%
Idemili South 200 4.3% 13 4.3%
Ihiala 278 6.0% 18 6.0%
Njikoka 201 4.4% 13 4.3%
Nnewi North 198 4.3% 12 4.0%
Nnewi South 295 6.4% 20 6.7%
Ogbaru 293 6.4% 19 6.3%
Onitsha North 201 4.4% 13 4.3%
Onitsha South 200 4.3% 13 4.3%
Orumba North 231 5.0% 16 5.3%
Orumba South 192 4.2% 12 4.0%
Oyi 166 3.6% 11 3.7%
Total 4,608 100.0% 300 100.0%

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