The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) is the foremost independent civil society election observation organization in Nigeria. Established in 1998 as a non-profit organization, the TMG now has 400 member organizations committed to the entrenchment of democracy in Nigeria. The organization seeks to secure the highest standards in the administration of elections in Nigeria by ensuring that the election management body and the electorates carry out their responsibilities during elections in accordance with the Law and internationally recognized standards for free and fair elections. It also seeks to ensure that good governance is entrenched in Nigeria through responsible leadership. To do these, it conducts civic and voter education to enlighten Nigerians about their civic/ voting rights and responsibilities, and implements a well coordinated election monitoring programme to ensure that elections are conducted under a free and fair atmosphere.
Following its pioneering efforts in educating and mobilizing Nigerians to participate in the electoral process and ensuring that the 1999 elections succeeded, the organization won the coveted “Democracy Award” given by the Washington-based National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in May 1999. In August 2009, TMG was given a recognition Award by the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru.
Membership of the organization is open only to civil society groups with a proven commitment to the growth and sustenance of democracy in Nigeria. From a modest beginning of just above 50 civil society organizations in 1998, TMG’s membership has grown to over 300, principally of civil society organizations with strong affiliation to people at the grassroots and spread across all states and geo-political zones of Nigeria.
The mission of the group is to promote the development and practice of democratic values and to monitor democratic institutions and the electoral process.
TMG’s Aims and Objectives
The aims and objectives of the group’s work include the following:
• To develop integrity in the electoral process by monitoring and reporting on the prosecution of the political programme;
• To observe and monitor the conduct of elections in Nigeria;
• To promote accountability, transparency and responsiveness among political leaders and in the public sector;
• To encourage and promote participation of citizens especially of women and other marginalized or vulnerable groups in the political process;
• To assist in capacity building for member organizations;
• To provide civic education and democratic capacity building for public institutions;
• To encourage wider dissemination of voter education materials;
• To advocate and campaign for the promulgation of human rights-compliant and people oriented legislation.
To achieve its set goals and objectives, TMG carries out the following activities: civic and voter education programmes, election monitoring, publication of reports on the conduct of elections and other activities in the electoral process; conducting research, holding conferences, seminars and training workshops.
The TMG has a working relationship with several national and international organizations including; Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), United Nations Development Program (UNDP/DGD), MacArthur Foundation, the Canadian International Agency (CIDA), Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Department for International Development (DFID), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Human Rights Commission, to name a few.