Text of Post-Election Press Briefing on theAnambra State Gubernatorial Election presented by the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) at the TMG National Secretariat, Kado Estate, Abuja on December 2, 2013
Delivered at Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) National Secretariat on December 2nd, 2013
Distinguished guests, respected partners and 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 Post-Election Press Briefing on our observation findings on the Anambra State Gubernatorial Election held on Saturday, November 16, 2013; and the subsequent re-run election on the 17th in Obosi ward of Idemili North and the Supplementary Election held on Saturday, November 30, 2013. TMG had previously made known to the public its preliminary observations and verified that the collation process for the initial Election held on November 16, 2013 was done properly, and the partial official results as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on November 18, 2013 accurately reflected the votes cast on Election Day at those polling stations which held Election.
Before going further, permit me here to give a quick run-down of TMG’s work in respect of the Anambra State Gubernatorial Election:
- TMG deployed a total of 633 non-partisan citizen observers-33 mobile supervisors and 600 stationary observers assigned to specific polling units-employing the advanced Quick Count Observation Methodology and utilising the latest information and communication technology (ICT) to observe the Anambra State Gubernatorial Election.
- As a result, TMG was able to provide real time, representative and statistically valid information on the conduct of the Election Day Processes-arrival of staff and materials, setup of the polling units, accreditation of voters, voting itself and counting of ballot papers-both what goes well and any possible areas of concern.
- TMG was also able to verify independently the accuracy of the Partial official results the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) released based on the official results announced and posted at polling units.
- TMG’s 600 stationary observers were deployed in pairs to a representative random sample of 300 polling stations located in all 21 local government areas (LGAs) in proportion to the number of polling units in each LGA, according to well established and widely accepted statistical principles.
- At random sampled polling units, TMG observers closely watched the process throughout Election Day and completed a checklist of 36 detailed questions about the process, from the time of arrival of INEC materials to the posting of the official results-INEC Form EC.8A.
- Throughout Election Day, TMG observers as expected sent to an Information Centre located in Abuja a total of 3600 text messages containing 21,600 individual pieces of information about the conduct of the Election Day Processes.
- All 633 TMG’s supervisors and observers also sent in critical incidents that occurred on Election Day. TMG mobile supervisors equally sent in reports from their assigned LGAs.
- TMG mobile supervisors deployed to the 21 INEC LGAs collation centres recorded and transmitted the official INEC LGAs-level results.
- Reports from all TMG’s mobile supervisors and stationary observers sent via coded text messages were processed by a computer database for real-time information on the Electoral Process.
- TMG’s observation efforts provided independent non-partisan representative information on the quality of the process and the accuracy of the official results so that people could determine if the conduct of the Anambra State Gubernatorial Election met their expectations or not, because Elections ultimately belong to the people.
- The sample was allocated proportionally based on the percentage of polling units in each LGA. For example, Idemili South LGA has 4.3% (200 of 4,608) of the polling units in Anambra, therefore 13 of 300 or 4.3% of the polling units in the sample were in Idemili South LGA. What demonstrates that the sample is representative was that the percentage of polling units closely matches the percentage of sampled polling units for every LGA.
- Once the number of sampled polling units for each LGA has been determined, then polling units were selected entirely at random for each LGA. For example, the 20 sampled polling units for Idemili South were selected entirely randomly from the 200 total polling units in the LGA.
- TMG received technical assistance from the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and financial support from the United State Agency for International Development (USAID). The Quick Count and this program build on a longer term initiative by NDI made possible by USAID and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).
The Supplementary Election
For the supplementary election, TMG deployed 22 stationary observers to the polling units affected in its initial sampled polling units and 12 roving observers. These were to cover the 212 polling units across 16 LGAs that elections had been declared inconclusive; hence the supplementary election.
On the Supplementary Election of Saturday, November 30, 2013; TMG observers reported that:
- polling units visited were opened and INEC officials arrived on time
- There was presence of security personnel and party agents at polling units.
- There was hitch free accreditation process which also commenced on time polling units observed.
- We however observed a very low voter turnout for the supplementary Election.
TMG Post-Election Findings
Based on reports from TMG’s 633 citizen observers, deployed across all 3 senatorial districts and all 21 LGAs, TMG found out that, while many elements of the Election Day process were adequate, there were serious shortcomings, including:
- 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; 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.
- The widespread late delivery of election materials delayed the start of accreditation of voters across the state. TMG observers reported that as at 12:00 noon of November 16, about 60% of polling units had not received accreditation materials.
- 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.
- 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; 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
- 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%.
- 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.
Verification of the accuracy of official results for Anambra Gubernatorial Election as announced by INEC
TMG recognizes and frowns at the irregularities that had trailed the November 16 election day as reported in our previous statements. However Based on the Quick Count methodology, the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) can confidently verify that the collation process was done properly and the official results as announced by INEC on November 30th, 2013 accurately reflect the votes cast on Election Day (16th November 2013) and on the supplementary election (held on 30th November, 2013)
- INEC must continue to announce and publish results at polling unit to make later manipulation very difficult.
- The observed widespread voter apathy in Anambra is worrisome and portends danger to the growth of our democracy. TMG lays the blame on the people of Anambra state for exhibiting such civic negligence which allowed less than 26% of the registered voters to determine the fate and leadership of a state of over 3 million people. TMG therefore calls for an immediate turn around in attitude towards future elections and other civic responsibilities.
- INEC MUST hold accountable and bring to book those responsible for the failures recorded during the conduct of elections in some polling units, particularly in Idemili North .
- TMG calls on INEC to live up its responsibility as it goes into preparation for Ekiti and Osun states elections, and of course 2015 general elections. We must realize that Nigerian people are tired of excuses bothering on logistical short comings affecting the conduct of 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.”
Thank you for your attention.
Comrade Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi
TMG Media Centre
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