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INEC - Centre for Democracy & Development

Ba’a Nada Tsohon Gwamnan Bauchi Ahmed Adamu Muazu a Matsayin Shugaban Hukumar Zabe ta Kasa na Riko Ba

By Fact Check

Tushen Magana:

A ranar Juma’a, 13 ga watan Nuwanban shekara ta 2020, masu bin diddigin labarai dan gani sahihancin su na Cibiyar Bunkasa Demokaradiyya da Cigaba (CDD) sun gano wani labari da wata jarida ta wallafa kuma ake yadashi a manhajar WhatsApp.

Labarin wadda jarida mai suna CityNews ta wallafa shi ya buga hoton tsohon gwamnan jahar Bauchi, Ahmed Adamu Muazu a matsayin sabon shugaban hukumar zabe ta kasa na riko.

Taken labarin shine: “Labari da dumi-dumin sa: Muazu ya zama shugaban INEC na riko”.

Gaskiyar Magana:

Ba’a nada tsohon gwamnan jahar Bauchi Ahmed Adamu Muazu a matsayin shugaban hukumar zabe ta kasa INEC na rikon kwarya ba.

Bincikne da CDD ta aiwatar ya gano cewa jaridar CityNews cikin kuskure ta wallafa hoton Ahmed Adamu Muazu a matsayin shugaban da zai jagoranci hukumar zaben na wucin-gadi bayan da wa’adin wanda ke kan kuejer Farfesa Mahmoud Yakubu ya kare.

Adaidai lokacin da wa’adin Farfesa Yakubu na karon farko yak are, ya mika ragamar INEC din zuwa ga daya daga cikin kwamishionin ta dan asalin jahar Gombe, wato Air Vice Marshal Ahmed Muazu.

CDD ta gano cewa wadda zai jagoranci hukumar zaben shine AVM Ahmed Muazu wadda daya ne daga cikin kwamishinonin hukumar zaben.

Mutumin da aka buga hoton sa a matsayin shugaban hukumar na riko wato toshon gwamnan jahar Bauchi Ahmed Adamu Muazu bashi da laka da hukumar zaben ta kasa INEC. Hasalima yayi gwamnan Bauchi ne daga shekarar 1999 zuwa 2003.

Kammalawa:

Labarin da ake yadawa cewa an nada tsohon gwaman jahar Bauchi Ahmed Adamu Muazu a matsayin shugaban hukumar zabe ta kasa INEC na rikon-kwarya karya ne.

CDD tana jan hankalin jama’a game da yada labaran da basu da tabbacin sahihancin su. Kuna iya aikowa CDD labaran da kuke shakku akansu dan tantance muku ta hanyar WhatsApp ko gajeren sako ta wannan lamba +2349062910568 ko a shafin Twitter a: @CDDWestAfrica ko @CDDWestAfrica_H

#AgujiYadaLabaranBogi

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

FACT-CHECK: Former Bauchi Governor Not Appointed Acting INEC National Chairman

By Fact Check

VERDICT: False and misleading

CLAIM:

On Friday November 13, 2020 fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a story shared WhatsApp groups with the claim that a former Governor of Bauchi State, Ahmed Mu’azu has been appointed the new national chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The story published by CityNews had the picture of Mu’azu with the caption: BREAKING: Ahmed Mu’azu now acting INEC chairman.

FACT

Mu’azu has not been appointed acting chairman of INEC as widely claimed on the report which was shared on WhatsApp.

CDD investigation shows that the report by CityNews wrongly claimed that the former Governor was appointed INEC’s acting chairman following the handover of affairs of the commissioner from Professor Mahmood Yakubu to Air Vice Marshal Ahmed Mu’azu – an indigene of Gombe State as acting chairman.

Also, the Centre gathers that while the new acting chairman represents North East in the commission, the correct name of former Bauchi governor (1999-2007) whose picture appears on the story is Ahmed Adamu Muazu.

The former governor who was mistaken by the news blog as the newly appointed INEC’s acting chairman is a business man and politician.

CONCLUSION:

The claim that a former governor of Bauchi State has been appointed the acting chairman of INEC is false and misleading. The new acting chairman of the commission is retired Air Vice Marshal Ahmed Muazu.

CDD is urging Nigerians to always verify the authenticity of stories before sharing them.

You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on twitter @CDDWestAfrica

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

Shin Hukumar Zabe Ta Kasa INEC Zata Koma Hannun Shugaban Rikon Kwarya?

By Fact Check

Gaskiyar Magana: Gaskiya Ne!

Tushen Magana:

A ranar Juma’a, 6 ga watan Nuwanban shekara ta 2020, wani zauren yanar gizo mai suna ejegist ya wallafa wani labari dake cewa shugaban hukumar zabe ta kasa INEC, Farfesa Mahmood Yakubu zai mika jagorancin hukumar ga hannun wani shugaban wanda zai riketa a matsayin rikon kwarya a ranar 9 ga watan Nuwanba.

Labarin wanda ya bayyana madogararsa ga jaridar Daily Trust yace Mahmood Yakubu zai mika shugabancin hukumar ne ga hannun daya daga cikin kwamishinonin hukumar na kasa.

Gaskiyar Magana:

Labarin da ake yadawa cewa Farfesa Mahmood Yakubu zai mika jagorancin hukumar zuwa ga hannun wani shugaban da zai riketa a matsayin rikon kwarya gaskiya ne.

Kwamishinan hukumar zabe ta kasa INEC, Barr. Festus Okoye ya bayyana wa CDD cewa Farfesa Mahmood Yakubu zai sauka ya mkia shugabancin ga wani har sai majalisar dattawa ta tantance shi dan cigaba da hukucin a karo na biyu.

Okye yace: “bisa doka shigabancin Farfesa Mahmood Yakubu zai kare a ranar Litinin , 9 ga watan Nuwanba, 2020. Yakubu zai mika hukumar ga hannun daya daga cikin kwamishinonin hukumar kafin majalisar dattawa ta tantance shi dan cigaba da jagoranci a karo na biyu”.

Kammalawa:

Labarin cewa shugaban hukumar zabe ta kasa INEC, Farfesa Mahmood Yakubu zai mika jagorancin hukumar ga hannun shugaban rikon kwarya gaskiya ne!

Farfesa Yakubu zai mika jagorancin hukumar zuwa ga hannun daya daga cikin kwamishinonin hukumar na kasa.

CDD na karfafawa jama’a gwiwa game da tantance game da tantance sahihancin labarai kafin yadasu.

Kuna iya aikowa CDD labaran da kuke shakku akansu dan tantance muku ta hanyar WhatsApp ko gajeren sako ta wannan lamba +2349062910568 ko a shafin Twitter a: @CDDWestAfrica ko @CDDWestAfrica_H

#AgujiYadaLabaranBogi

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

FACT-CHECK: Is the INEC Chairman Handing Over to an Acting Chairman?

By Fact Check

VERDICT: True

CLAIM: On Friday, November 6, 2020, a blog ejegist published a report with the claim that the current Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, will hand over to an Acting Chairman on Monday, November 9.

The report quoting the Daily Trust Newspaper and went further to say that Prof. Yakubu will be handing over to one of the National Commissioners whose tenure has not expired.

FACT:

The claim that Prof. Yakubu Mahmood will on Monday, November 9, handover power to an Acting INEC Chairman is true.

The INEC National Commissioner in charge of Voter Education and Publicity, Barr Festus Okoye, told fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) that the Chairman will be stepping aside till he is confirmed for a second term by the Nigerian Senate.

He said ‘’The Chairman will exit the Commission on Monday the 9th of November 2020. Constitutionally his tenure expires by effluxion of time on Monday, November 9, 2020. He will handover to one of the National Commissioners pending his confirmation and swearing-in for a second and final term. The Chairman is a stickler to constitutionalism and will also abide by constitutional tenets.

CONCLUSION

The claim that the current INEC Chairman will be handing over to an acting Chairman on November 9, 2020, is true.

He will handover to one of the National Commissioners pending his confirmation and swearing-in for a second and final term.

CDD is urging Nigerians to always verify the authenticity of stories before sharing them.

You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on twitter @CDDWestAfrica

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

Shin Majalisar Dattawa Taki Tantance Lauretta Onochie Dan Nada Ta a Matsayin Kwamishina a Hukumar Zabe Ta Kasa INEC?

By Fact Check

Gaskiyar Magana: Labarin Yana Cike Da Rudani

Tushen Magana:

A ranar Alhamis, 15 ga watan Oktoban da muke ciki, masu tantance sahihancin labarai na Cibiyar Bunkasa Demokaradiyya da Cigaba (CDD) sun gano wani labari da wani azure yanar gizo mai wallafa labarai mai suna Wazobia Reporters ya wallafa inda yake ikirarin cewa majalisar dattawan Najeriya taki tantance Lauretta Onochie dan nada ta a matsayin kwamishina a hukumar zabe ta kasa INEC da Shugaba Muhammadu Buhari yake son yi.

Labarin ya kara da cewa majalisar dattawan ta nemi fadar shugaban kasa ta sake nazari akan yunkurin nada Lauretta Onochie a matsayin kwamishina a hukumar zaben kasa INEC.

Labarin jingina madogararsa da wata jarida mai suna Nigerian Daily a matsayin inda ya samo labarin.

Gaskiyar Al’amari:

Bincken da CDD ta aiwatar ya gani cewa labarin dake cewa majalisar dattawan Najeriya taki tantance Lauretta Onochie dan zama kwamishina a hukumar zabe ta ksa INEC labari ne na bogi.

A ranar Talata, 13 ga watan Oktoban da muke ciki, Shugaba Buhari ya zabi Onochie da wassu mutane uku wato Mohammed Sani daga jahar Katsina, da Kunle Ajayi daga jahar Ekiti da Saidu Ahmed daga jahar Jigawa da nada su a matsayin kwamishinonin zabe a hukumar zabe ta kasa INEC.

Binciken da CDD ta zurfafa game da batun ya gano cewa jaridar da Wazobia Reporters sukace sun samo labarin daga wajen su wato  Nigerian Daily basu buga wani labari makamancin wannan ba. Saboda haka labarin da Wazobia Reporters din suka buga labari ne na karya.

Idan Shugaban Kasa ya gabatar wa majalisar dattawa jadawalin mutanen da yake so ya nada a wassu mukamai, majalisar zata mika sunayen ga kwamitoci daban-daban dan gudanar da binciken kwa-kwaf akansu.

Bayan kamala bincike game da mutanen da Shugaban Kasa ke san nadawa a mukamai, kwamitoci zasu gabatar da rahoton su ga majalisar dattawan dan daukan mataki na gaba. Kuma kawo yanzu ba’a kamala wannan aiki na bincike ba kuma bada wata matsayarta game da batun tun bayan sanar da cewa Shugaban Kasa ya aiko sunayen mutanen da yake son nadawa a mukamin kwamishinoni a hukumar zaben a ranar Talata, 13 ga watan Oktoban da muke ciki.

Kammalawa:

Labarin da ake yadawa cewa majalisar dattawa taki tantance Lauretta Onochie dan zamowa kwamishina a hukumar zabe ta kasa INEC karya ne.

Har yanzu majalisar dattawa bata dauki kowane irin mataki ba game da sunayen da Shugaban Kasa ya aika mata a ranar Talata, 13 ga watan Oktoban shekara ta 2020.

Kuna iya aikowa CDD labarai ko bayanan da kuke da shakku akansu dan ta tantance muku sahihancin su. Zaku iya turo labaran ta wannan lamba: +2349062910568 ko a shafukan mu na Twitter a @CDDWestAfrica ko @CDDWestAfrica_H

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

FACT-CHECK: Did Senate Reject Lauretta Onochie’s Nomination As INEC Commissioner?

By Fact Check

VERDICT: False and Misleading

Claim:

On Thursday, October 15, 2020, fact-checkers at Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted news story on a blog, Wazobia Reporters, claiming that the Nigerian Senate had rejected the nomination of Lauretta Onochie as a national commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The report claimed that the Senate had asked the presidency to reconsider the nomination of Onochie, an aide to the President Buhari on Social Media.

Also, the blog quoted the source of its claim as the Nigerian Daily.

FACT:

Checks by the CDD shows that the claim by the blog on the rejection of Onochie as a national commissioner for INEC is false.

President Buhari nominated Onochie on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, as national commissioner for INEC alongside three others, Mohammed Sani (Katsina); Kunle Ajayi (Ekiti) and Seidu Ahmed (Jigawa State).

However, checks by the CDD show that the website which the blog claimed to have sourced its report had nothing relating to the acclaimed rejection of Onochie as the President’s nomination for INEC’s national commissioner by the Senate.

Essentially, once the President presents a nomination list to the Senate for an appointment, the Upper Chamber would send the list to the relevant committee for background checks and screening of the individuals on the list.

Following the completion of screening, the appropriate committee would submit a report of its findings to the Senate leadership for further decision on the nominations. This process is, however, yet to be completed as the Senate has not made a further announcement or taken action on the matter since announcing the President’s nomination at the plenary on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

CONCLUSION:

The claim that the Senate had rejected the President’s nomination of Lauretta Onochie as the national chairman for INEC is false.

The Senate is yet to take any further action on the list presented by President Buhari since the first announcement at the plenary on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

CDD is urging Nigerians to always verify the authenticity stories before sharing them. You can also forward suspicious messages for verification via WhatsApp to +2349062910568 or contact us on twitter @CDDWestAfrica

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

CDD Tasks Stakeholders on Credible Ondo Governorship Poll

By Press Release

  • Commends Citizens Focus On Issues of Governance 
  • Says Less Attacks Show Level of Confidence In INEC, Urges Commission To Reciprocate
  • Tasks Security, Government On Measures To Prevent Vote Buying  

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen of the Press.

Forty-eight hours to the commencement of voting in the October 10 Governorship election, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) through its dedicated Election Analysis Centre (EAC) continues to collect information from our trained non-partisan observers deployed across the 18 Local Governments Areas of Ondo State. CDD observer reports have provided important perspectives on trends in the pre-election environment leading up to the Governorship poll. From now, through Election Day, and to the post-election period CDD will share updates on issues relating to the credibility of the electoral process, and how to ensure its outcome reflect the will of the people of Ondo State.

It is pertinent to note that CDD observation of the electoral process is a citizen-led, non-partisan effort aimed at ensuring the election measures up to minimum credibility requirements according to global norms and best practices such as: (i) Article 21(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that: everyone has a right to take part in the government of their country, directly or through chosen representatives, and (ii) Article 21(3) of the same declaration which asserts, “the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will be expressed in periodic and genuine elections, which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.”

 People of Ondo State Yearn for Credible Electoral Process

As observed in the last CDD EAC update on the Ondo State Governorship election, the people in this State have shown a refreshing resolve to focus their debates and conversations around the October 10 governorship election on key governance issues. CDD observation shows that the level of the spread of fake news and misinformation in the Ondo election has been relatively low when compared to recent governorship elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Ondo State. This positive trend is partly so because citizens are busy discussing issues of governance. CDD hopes the people of Ondo State will put those issues in perspective as they go to cast their ballot on October 10.

Preliminary analysis of social media conversations and engagement on facebook groups and pages created by supporters of the candidates shows there is less focus on the spread of fake news. Compared to how social media was used to misinform unsuspecting members of the public in the Kogi, Bayelsa and most recently in the Edo State Governorship election, it is apparent Ondo State is faring better. CDD social media content analysis for the Ondo State governorship election indicates that the major concerns raised by prospective voters in their posts are on the problem of possible violence and the challenge of voter inducement.

In the light of the foregoing, CDD urges voters in Ondo State to continue to frame the election as a contest to be determined on the basis of the of which of the political actors has the best ideas to solve the problems facing citizens. It is in line with global best practice for citizens to take all political contestants to task on how they intend to accomplish the promises they have made on the campaign trail. CDD calls on all political actors in the electoral contest of October 10 to take a cue from the people by focusing their discussion during the remaining part of the campaign on discussing how they will govern.

In line with this, CDD calls on the political parties, and their candidates to refrain from making preemptive statements, allegations and counter allegations, which could stoke partisan tensions and heat up the polity during the rest of the campaign period and on Election Day. The war of words, which the political actors are fond of engaging in adds to value to the quest by citizens for credible elections and by extension, good governance. Such verbal altercations are capable of undermining voter confidence and delegitimizing the outcome of the election. It is therefore important in the spirit of the signed Peace Accord for the politicians to be mindful of what they say and do as voters head to the polls. 

INEC Should Reciprocate Confidence Reposed In It 

Another interesting trend observed by CDD in the Ondo State governorship election is the absence of or reduced level of attacks on the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).  Compared to governorship elections in other states, INEC has been largely spared of denunciations and attacks, which are clearly aimed at undermining the idea of the Commission’s impartiality. Politicians normally resort to the strategy of denouncing INEC so that if they lose the election, they can quickly blame INEC’s alleged compromise as the reason for their loss. In Ondo State, INEC has not had to respond to such vicious potshots aimed at undermining its non-partisan role, and distracting it. CDD believes this to be a sign of the high level of confidence the people of Ondo State have in the Commission. INEC therefore cannot afford to fritter away this level of good will. It has to ensure the confidence reposed in it is properly reciprocated. This it can do by ensuring materials arrive at the polling units on time; INEC should therefore consider the nature of the terrain in some parts of the state, especially the riverine and mountainous nature of some Local Government Areas.

CDD hopes INEC will strategically factor these areas in its deployment plans to ensure there is no late arrival of materials. These factors will have to be considered in the aspect of reverse logistics, especially with respect to collation of results. Given the terrain difficulty in those LGAs, CDD calls on INEC to ensure its results viewing portal is capable of documenting results, especially from areas, which will pose a terrain problem. Subsequently, INEC would have to find ways to mitigate the effect of the largely partisan disposition of transport unions, including the National Union of Road Transport Workers and the Motorcyclists Association. The partisan posture of these unions could pose challenges, which may create credibility and logistics problems for the entire process. Incidentally, the NURTW is the body INEC relies on for transportation of electoral materials. This may create a problem for INEC in the area of getting materials to all voting areas in the state. CDD calls on INEC to prepare back up plans just in case there is a system failure in its logistics deployment as a result of the partisan disposition of the transport union. 

On Early Warning Signs of Violence And Need For Strategic Deployment of Security

Since political campaigns began, CDD has been monitoring the electoral terrain to document early warning signs for prevention of violence. Our observers documented an upsurge of political tensions in at least 11 of the 18 local government areas of the State with several reported cases of election-related violence. A trend analysis of data gathered so far indicates that group clashes, attacks on party secretariat and political rallies and campaigns by thugs and party supporters escalated in most LGAs across the State with the highest number of cases reported in Akure South and Idanre LGAs. Of the 34 incidents of electoral violence reported between August and early October 2020, at least 12 cases of clashes during campaigns were reported. Also CDD further calls on the security agencies to monitor movement into Ondo State from other states. CDD observers reported seeing scores of buses entering Akure the Ondo State capital on the night of October 7, 2020. While freedom of movement is a constitutionally guaranteed right, it is up to the security agencies to ensure those coming into the state have no sinister intention with respect to the election. 

While these early warning signs are not definite indicators to give 100 percent certainty that there will be violence in the areas highlighted, they nonetheless call for a strategic deployment of security. CDD is of the view the presence of security in areas with history of election violence will deter elements which would be inclined to resort to violence. CDD observation indicates the security agencies, especially the Police have been making the right statements and commitment on their readiness to play a non-partisan role in the electoral process. We also recognize positive steps taken so far, including innovations to enhance transparency and deter bad behavior among officers on election duties. CDD however calls on the security agencies to brief their officers on their specific roles; we do not expect to see officers who turn a blind eye when electoral offences.

On Welfare of Election Workers

In terms of management of personnel, CDD calls on INEC and the security agencies to make the welfare of election workers and officers of security agencies topmost priority. As the experience from the recently concluded election in Edo State shows, many of the delays in the timely arrival of election materials were caused by arguments over payment of allowances. INEC should use the remaining time to firm up its plans for elections workers, just as we urge security agencies to ensure the welfare of the rank and file is adequately catered for. This will ensure they are prepared for their various assignment. Welfare of police officers and other members of the security forces has to be taken care to ensure they are not susceptible to inducement by desperate politicians who may want to get them to play roles, which would undermine the credibility of the election.

  Conclusion

To conclude CDD must draw attention again and underline the following emerging trends in the politics and administration of the 2020 Ondo governorship elections that should be sustained or addressed to brighten the prospects of competitive party and electoral politics not only in the state but also in Nigeria generally. First, the gratifying focus on issues-based electioneering emerging out of the 2020 Ondo elections is refreshing, noteworthy and encouraged across the country. Secondly, the elections, particularly their issues-based electioneering focus, have given vocal voice to women and the youth who seem determined, despite great odds, to protect their vote and ensure that it counts. Third, the weakness of internal party democracy, reflected in controversies trailing the nomination processes for selecting party governorship candidates, resulting in party fractionalization  and defections, has mixed implications: while it bodes well for more competitive multiparty electoral politics, it also tends to engulf it in violent party and electoral politics. Fourth, INEC’s administration and management of the 2020 Ondo governorship electoral    process, continues to reflect the benefits of its substantial and progressive investment in internal administrative and financial audit and reform and in high technology to sanitize the voter registration and voting process. However, there is still much INEC needs to, and should do to fix and strengthen weak links in its logistic chain for the deployment of personnel and materials for elections, with particular attention given to mitigating fault lines in the role of NURTW in the transportation deployment links, and also in the provisioning for the welfare and timely remuneration of the ad hoc staff and security personnel so deployed. Fifth, there remains the challenging problem of what the civil society organizations and the public generally can and should do to diminish the abuse of the power of incumbency for partisan party and electoral advantage.          

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The Outlook for Ondo: Votes and Violence

By Publication, Publications

Introduction

On the 10 October 2020 the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will conduct the sixth governorship election in Ondo State since the restoration of democracy in 1999.

The state, in Nigeria’s south west geo political zone, is currently held by the All Progressive Congress (APC) and is strategic in protecting the APCs political hegemony in the zone Although 17 parties have registered candidates, only three have a chance of winning the APC, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).

The defection of the incumbent deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi, from the APC and his subsequent emergence as the governorship candidate of ZLP, raised the stakes in the elections.


This report provides an overview of the political environment leading up to the election Specifically, it analyses the strength of the three major political parties and their candidates by thoroughly examining the history of votes and voting pattern, political alliances, and election related violence
of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). All the three frontline candidates are lawyers by profession.

DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT HERE

Shin Za’a Iya Anfani Da Katin Jebu Dan Yin Zabe a Zaben Gwamna Dake Tafe a Jahar Edo?

By Fact Check, UncategorizedNo Comments

Tantancewar CDD: Karya Ne!

Tushen Magana:

A ranar 18 ga watan Agustan shekara ta 2020, masu tantance sahihancin labarai na Cibiyar Bunkasa Demokaradiyya da Cigaba sunga rahotanni da yawa da aka wallafa a shafukan sada zumunta na zamani dama wassu jaridu da suka hada da The Nigerian Post da akace jam’iyyar PDP tayi zargin cewa jam’iyyar APC a jahar Edo tana samar da katin zabe na bogi ga ya’yanta dan yin zabe a zaben gwamnan dake tafe a jahar.

Jigon labarin da aka wallafa yace: “Zaben Gwamna a Jahar Edo: APC na buga katin zabe na bogi, inji jam’iyyar PDP”. Labarin yace jam’iyyar PDP tace APC ta yanke shawarar buga katunan zaben ne saboda ta gano cewa bazata iya lashen zaben gwamnan da za’a gudanar a jahar Edon.

Gaskiyar Magana:

Binciken da CDD ta gudanar ya gano cewa hukumar zabe ta kasa INEC ne kawau take da hurumin buga katin zabe na dindindin da ake anfani dashi dan kada kuri’a a Najeriya a halin yanzu. INEC tasha yin bayani akan cewa itace kawai keda damar buga katin zabe kuma katin na yanzu yana dauke da wassu alamomin tsaro da aka tsarasu dan su dace da runfa da akwatin da mutum zaiyi zabe. Kari akan bayanan da INEC ta gabatar baya shine yanzu katin zabe sai na’urar kada kuri’a ta tantance shi, wanda ke nuna cewa babu wani da zai iya buga katin zabe na bogi.

Yana da kyau mutane su tuna cewa wannan ba shine karon farko ba da irin wadannan zarge-zargen ke fitowa, kafin zaben shekara ta 2019 ansamu irin wannan zargin day a fito daga yan siyasa, a wancan lokacin, kwamishina a hukumar zaben mai kula da wayar da kai da hulda jama’a, Barr. Festus Okoye yayi bayani yayin da yake mayar da martani game da jita-jitar samar da katunan zaben na bogi inda yace kawai yan siyasa nayin irin wadannan maganganun ne da nufin tirsasawa hukumar zaben ayyana muhimman bayanan ta game na’urar kada kuri’a da a turance ake kira “smart card reader”.

Kamar yadda Ka’idojin Hukumar Zabe suka zayyana,  Na’urar Tantance Masu Zabe ana anfani da ita ne dan tantance masu kada kuri’a dan tabbatar da cewa hoton dan yatsan mai dauke da katin ya dace bayanan da na’urar ke dauke dashi. Hujjoji sun tabbata da cewa yin anfani da na’urar tantance masu zabe da nu’ura ya kara inganta sahihancin aiwatar da zabe a Najeriya.

Katin zabe na din-din-din da ake anfani dashi yanzu wani bazai iya anfani da na wani ba kuma INEC ce kawai ke iya bayar dashi. Zaben gwamna da za’a gudanar a jahar Edo dake cigaba da karotawa za’ayi anfani das hi wannan katin na din-din-din.

Labarai da aka wallafa a kafafen yada labarai da yawa inda jam’iyyar PDP tayi zargin cewa za’ayi anfani da katunan zabe na bogi dan yin magudi a zaben jahar Edo karya ne.

Kammalawa:

Cibiyar Bunkasa Demokaradiyya da Cigaba (CDD) tana tabbatar da cewa duk wani katin zaben da ba hukumar zabe ta kasa INEC ce ta bayar dashi ba, baza’a iya yin zabe dashi ba, saboda haka zargen da PDP keyi cewa anbuga katunan zabe na bogi dan yin magudin zabe a jahar Edo karya ne. Katin zabe da INEC ta bayar ne kawai za’a iya gudanar da zabe dashi.

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

FACT-CHECK: Can Fake Voters' Card be used in Edo State Governorship Election?

By Fact CheckNo Comments

VERDICT: False

CLAIM: On August 18, 2020, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a report by multiple online platforms, including The Nigeran Post, which was attributed to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with the claim that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is printing fake Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) ahead of the Edo Governorship election.

The headline, “Edo 2020: APC Printing Fake Voters Cards, PDP alleges,” the report said the PDP accused the APC of involving in such activity because the party realised it would not win the election. The PDP further alleged that the Fake PVCs are intended to be used by the APC to rig the poll.

FACT:

Checks by fact-checkers at the CDD show that Only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) produce Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) that can be used in any Nigeria election. In the past, INEC had clarified such claim, the Election Management Body on countless occasions, clarified that the PVC is coded to designated polling units and configured to specific and unique Smart Card Reader with robust security features. 

It is important to note that this is not the first time Nigerian politicians will raise and make such a false claim. During the 2019 general elections, INEC National Commissioner in charge of publicity, Barrister Festus Okoye, while reacting to allegations of the use of cloned PVC said such claim is only a ploy by politicians to pressure the Commission into disclosing the kind of security the Smart Card Reader possesses.

As stated in the INEC election guideline, the Smart Card Reader is used before voter’s accreditation to validate and authenticate the identity of the voter by cross-matching their fingerprints with data already stored in an embedded chip. Evidence suggests that the use of the Smart Card Reader has enhanced electoral integrity in Nigeria. The PVC is not transferrable, and any PVC not issued by INEC cannot be validated and authenticated for the purpose of voting in Nigeria elections, including in the Edo State governorship poll, scheduled to hold on September 19, 2020.

The claim by the PDP and reported on several media outlets that fake/cloned PVC will be used to rig the Edo state election is not correlated with the guideline released by INEC and therefore cannot be substantiated.

CONCLUSION: 

CDD can authoritatively confirm that any PVC not issued by INEC will not authenticate and/or be used for voting during the Edo 2020 election. The claim by the PDP that fake voters’ card can be used to rig the election in Edo is false.

CDD is urging members of the public to read beyond headlines before sharing any news report. 

You can also forward suspicious messages for verification at +2349062910568 or contact us on twitter @CDDWestAfrica.

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

New Allegiances, Familiar Faces A Preview of Edo’s 2020 Gubernatorial Election

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As Edo State voters prepare to head to the polls for the 19 September gubernatorial election, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) is closely monitoring the democratic process.

CDD’s observation of the electoral process in Edo State, which is also informed by the guidelines of Nigeria’s electoral regulatory body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), will provide citizens, the media and other stakeholders with an objective, non-partisan assessment of the voting environment.

The analysis will span the pre-election period, election day and the post-election period. The 2020 Edo State gubernatorial election is the first major election that INEC will conduct since the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

In addition to the disruption of lives and livelihoods, the pandemic holds significant implications for the electoral process.

Edo State has recorded 2,311 COVID-19 cases, with NCDC data indicating that there are currently 335 COVID-19 patients in the state, with 84 deaths confirmed so far.

DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT HERE

DOWNLOAD CCD’s SPEED NOTE ON EDO ELECTION HERE

Sorting Fact From Fiction : Nigeria's 2019 Election

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Nigeria 2019 Election Fact-File

The Centre for Democracy and Development’s Election Analysis Centre (EAC) for the 2019 presidential and gubernatorial elections, represented the first attempt in Nigeria at running a rigorous fact-checking process before, during and after the electoral process of both presidential and gubernatorial elections. CDD’s specific mandate was to provide a filter and check on viral stories, that were demonstrably false. Or to confirm, with sources and justification, if certain events were true or with fact (s). To do this CDD worked in collaboration with the National Democratic Institute and the Premium Times. However, there is scope for greater collaboration with other like-minded institutions such as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the future. Nigeria 2019 Election Fact File

Methodology: Nigeria 2019 Election Fact File

Our methodology to achieve ‘Nigeria’s 2019 election fact-file’ during the elections, was a highly focused version of our usual fact-checking process. A small team of seven individuals each had individualised functions. We had two spotters who monitored the online space, including Facebook groups, Twitter accounts and WhatsApp groups. The groups we monitored had already previously been tagged in our ever-expanding database as sources of disinformation, through research and online mapping efforts that will be described further below. The spotters would then forward news stories that were popular (for example over a hundred shares on Twitter) to the fact-checkers.
This ensured that we highlighted and countered stories that were significant and prevented us from popularising false information [without fact (s)] that may not have reached a wide audience until our fact-check. The process for checking the validity of a story during the elections was facilitated by our nationwide-wide network of election observers² in each of Nigeria’s 36 states plus the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). This meant that our fact-checkers could reach out to an observer in any state to confirm a story. Once the validity of a story was verified, the fact-check itself would be written and sent to our designer to be turned into an infographic. This infographic was published on Twitter³ with all the relevant hashtags to ensure better reach and visibility (Methodology employed for Nigeria 2019 election fact file).

Spotters vs Fact Checkers for Nigeria 2019 Election

Monitoring the online landscape is not just relevant for fact checking, but allowed our research team to collect examples of hateful, inflammatory or false content; find groups that were spreading it; and track trending topics and disinformation campaigns online. Groups and accounts that we initially found led us to more, which if significant were added to our list online sources to be observed in future. In our online monitoring, we were able to identify three key content types that we subsequently focused on:

  1. Election logistic
  2. Election-related violence videos
  3. Conspiracy theories

Images or videos were analysed using tools such as reverse-image search to verify their origins and see if the content had appeared elsewhere. The fact checking process for a single story could take up to one hour and involved detecting a trending story – sometimes shared on private WhatsApp groups⁴, reaching out to our observers in the field and then designing and publishing the fact-check. Our standard format was in the form of an infographic that clearly showed the material being fact-checked, whether it be a picture, or a headline or a tweet. We chose infographics because the format allows us to convey information in an easily consumable form. Our tracking showed that our infographics had on average, 20 interactions on Twitter. In looking for sources of fake news, we were able to map the partisan nature of the online landscape. (Nigeria 2019 Election Fact File)
Download: Sorting Fact from Fiction.
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Sorting Fact From Fiction

By Blog, Nigeria Election 2019, PublicationsNo Comments

The Centre for Democracy and Development’s Election Analysis Centre (EAC) for the 2019 presidential and gubernatorial elections represented the first attempt in Nigeria at running a rigorous fact-checking process before, during and after the electoral process of both presidential and gubernatorial elections. CDD’s specific mandate was to provide a filter and check on viral stories that were demonstrably false. Or to confirm, with sources and justification, if certain events were true. To do this CDD worked in collaboration with the National Democratic Institute and the Premium Times. However, there is scope for greater collaboration with other like-minded institutions such as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the future.
Monitoring the online landscape is not just relevant for fact-checking, but allowed our research team to collect examples of hateful, inflammatory or false content; find groups that were spreading it; and track trending topics and disinformation campaigns online. Groups and accounts that we initially found led us to more, which if significant were added to our list online sources to be observed in future. In our online monitoring, we were able to identify three key content types that we subsequently focused on:

  1. Election logistic
  2. Election-related violence videos
  3. Conspiracy theories

Images or videos were analysed using tools such as reverse-image search to verify their origins and see if the content had appeared elsewhere. The factchecking process for a single story could take up to one hour and involved detecting a trending story – sometimes shared on private WhatsApp groups⁴, reaching out to our observers in the field and then designing and publishing the fact-check. Our standard format was in the form of an infographic that clearly showed the material being fact-checked, whether it be a picture, or a headline or a tweet. We chose infographics because the format allows us to convey information in an easily consumable form. Our tracking showed that our infographics had on average, 20 interactions on Twitter. In looking for sources of fake news, we were able to map the partisan nature of the online landscape
Download: Sorting Fact from Fiction.

[rt_animated_link_style animated_link_style=”two” animated_link_anchor=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cddwestafrica.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2019%2F07%2FSORTING-FACT-FROM-FICTION.pdf|title:Sorting%20Fact%20from%20Fiction||” animation=”swing” extra_class=”link” extra_id=” Sorting Fact from Fiction“]

CDD Fact Check: How valid is the claim that APC has 14 Governors Inaugurated on 29 May 2019 and PDP 15?

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VERDICT: TRUE
THE CLAIM: A claim has been spotted circulating on social media, including WhatsApp that the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), which is the main opposition party in Nigeria had 15 governors inaugurated on May 29, 2019 and the ruling party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) had 14.
THE FACTS: On May 29, 2019, (former democracy day) now referred to as Inauguration day is set aside for the swearing-in of elected officials in the Executive Arm of government. 29 state governors and deputy governors took oath of office to govern their states for the next four years. CDD Fact Checkers reviewed the website of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and found un-updated list (https://www.inecnigeria.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/2019-GENERAL-ELECTIONS-LIST-OF-GOVERNORS-ELECT-AND-DEPUTIES.pdf) of elected governors and deputies in the 2019 general elections. Fact checkers also reviewed media reports and internal CDD observers’ reports, following the conclusion of supplementary elections and the Supreme Court Judgement of Zamfara state APC primary election.
Aftermath these reviews; the APC had sworn-in governors in 14 states (Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Plateau and Yobe). The PDP has 15 states (Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Oyo, Rivers, Taraba and Zamfara) where their elected governors took oath of office.
Conclusion: The claim that APC has 14 and PDP has 15 governors sworn-in on May 29, 2019 is TRUE.

Did INEC Threaten to Award Presidential Election Victory to Atiku?

By Fact CheckNo Comments

Verdict: FALSE

The Claim:

CDD has spotted a story claiming that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has threatened to award the election victory to the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2019 presidential elections. The claim was made on April 9, 2019, by the dailyadvent. It says that PDP and their presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who is challenging the outcome of the presidential elections, have filed an election petition and that President Muhammadu Buhari, has till April 16, 2019, to respond to the petition. And that the court of Appeal has issued out a last warning to INEC and APC that they have till Thursday to file their responses to the election petition.

The Facts:

CDD fact-checkers investigated the story and discovered that the story is copied from punchng.com and uses a sensationalist headline to imply a different meaning. The blog report attributed their claim to an anonymous source, alleging that Buhari, INEC, and APC were yet to respond to the petition. Whereas, the Punch attributed a similar demand in their report to a valid source who informed its reporter that the party would respond to the petition before the 21 days deadline.
Also, the law is clear on how the election result declared by INEC can be invalidated. Only a court of competent jurisdiction can renounce a candidate’s victory and announce another as the victor once INEC has issued the certificate of return by INEC. Meanwhile, neither has the Presidential Election Tribunal given any judgement on the petition filed by PDP and its candidate nor did INEC declare any presidential election result different from the one earlier declared that saw Muhammadu Buhari of the APC won his closest rival, Atiku Abubakar of PDP,  with a margin of 2.9 million votes.

Conclusion:

The law is clear on how electoral outcome can be invalidated, Only a court of competent jurisdiction can renounce a candidate’s victory and announce another as the victor once INEC has issued the certificate of return. The 2-month old blog, dailyadvent, lacks credibility and should in no way be taken seriously.

PRELIMINARY REPORT AHEAD OF THE 2019 SUPPLEMENTARY ELECTIONS

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CDD has deployed trained observers to observe the Saturday, March 23, 2019, supplementary elections in Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto States. As in previous elections, an Election Analysis Centre (EAC) will be opened on Saturday at Centre’s Conference Room, located at CITEC Mount Pleasant Estate, Mbora District, Abuja. EAC comprises of leading experts on elections and democracy, and it serves as a one-stop-shop for all election-related information, including combating fake news and disinformation, as it relates to the focal states.

In this statement, CDD highlights the level of preparedness of INEC and political and security situation in the six states where supplementary elections will be conducted. It also lamented the rising phenomenon of vote buying and called on relevant stakeholders to take the necessary steps in ensuring the conduct of credible and peaceful elections.

 
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PRELIMINARY REPORT AHEAD OF THE SUPPLEMENTARY ELECTIONS

Nigeria’s 2019 elections: The preparations, people and prospects by Idayat Hassan

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With less than a year to go, how are preparations going? Who is running? What will be the key issues?
It is now less than a year before Nigeria’s critical general elections. In those polls, currently scheduled for 16 February and 2 March 2019, tens of millions of citizens will vote in what could be some of the country’s most fiercely fought contests yet.
How are preparations going? Who is running? What will be the key issues?
Preparations for the elections
Since Mahmood Yakubu took over as chair of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 2015, the body has carried out over 167 elections. One was nullified in court. INEC has also undertaken several institutional reforms. This includes launching a new strategic plan, working on a youth engagement strategy, and reviewing its gender policy. It has promoted deserving staff and, in an unprecedented move, prosecuted officials found to have committed wrongdoing in the 2015 elections.
Ahead of 2019, the commission has set up a committee to review the voting process and transmission of tallies. For the first time since the return to democracy in 1999, INEC is also conducting continuous voter registration.
Despite these giant strides, however, the body is facing some challenges.
Because of delays caused by a dispute between the president and Senate, for example, INEC still only has 30 out of 37 Resident Electoral Commissioners, the key officials responsible for organising elections at the state level. Continuous voter registration, which opened in 2016, has also experienced glitches, with some citizens complaining of being unable to register. This led INEC to recently deploy additional registration machines and increase the number of registration centres to 1,446 nationwide. Meanwhile, the cost of running the elections may also present a challenge. This is especially the case given that Nigeria has just exited a recession.
The commission has also been given additional headaches following last month’s local elections in Kano State. In the aftermath of that poll, a video emerged showing young children thumb-printing ballot papers. INEC did not oversee that election, but some claimed it had been responsible for registering the underage voters in the first place.
In response to this criticism, the commission set up a panel to probe the alleged underage voting and examine the nearly 5 million voters on the register in Kano. INEC has previously helped other countries in West Africa clean up their electoral registers, most recently ahead of Liberia’s run-off polls in December 2017.
Who is running?
In the 2015 elections, Nigeria had 40 registered political parties. Ahead of 2019, there are now 68, with 33 more being considered for registration.
The ones to beat this time around will be the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). This party was created ahead of 2015 through a merger of what were then the country’s four biggest opposition parties. Its growing ranks were further boosted when several figures from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in power at the time, crossed the floor.
In the election, the APC enjoyed an historic victory and ended the PDP’s political dominance, which had lasted since 1999. But since those heights, internal rivalries have come to the fore and prevented it from emerging as a cohesive force. The APC continues to run as an amalgam of the interests that created it in the first instance, with intra-party disputes emerging at both federal and state levels.
The incumbent President Buhari is the front runner to be the party’s flagbearer in 2019. However, aside from his mixed record in office, his advanced age of 75 and ill health could arise as an issue. Many are asking whether he will be fit to govern if re-elected, especially given that he spent several months of his first term receiving treatment in London for an undisclosed ailment.
The main opposition PDP has faced similar infighting to the APC since 2015. After the election, the party faced a bitter legal battle over the leadership of the party with Ahmed Makarfi eventually confirmed as the party chair. Since then, the PDP has held a national convention in which new officials were elected. Some regions were marginalised, however, and the party has yet to calm concerns about the state of its internal democracy or shed its reputation for corruption, which it developed over its 16 years in office.
Several candidates are lining up to bid to be the PDP’s presidential nominee. They include former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who recently crossed over from the APC. Often described as a serial defector, Atiku has commenced consultations and is regularly voicing his opinions on policy matters. At 71, his age and unproven corruption allegations remains the albatross around his neck. Other aspirants from the PDP include controversial governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, and former governors of Kaduna and Jigawa, Ahmed Makarfi and Sule Lamido respectively.
Along with these two big parties, Nigeria could, for the first time, also see a powerful third party emerge in 2019. The most popular phrase in the country today is “Third Force” and various groupings are attempting to harness the appetite for an alternative to the APC and PDP.
30 opposition parties have joined forces under the banner of the Coalition for a New Nigeria (CNN). Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has helped set up the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM). And groups such as the Nigerian Intervention MovementRevive Nigeria and Emerging Leaders’ Summit are also trying to jostle for position. Regarding the presidency, the likes of motivational speaker Fela Durotoye, former deputy governor of Central Bank of Nigeria Kingsley Moghalu, and founder of the online whistleblowing site Sahara Reporter Omoyele Sowore have all expressed their intention to challenge the main parties’ candidates.
At the same time, citizen-led groups are also making their voices heard. The Red Card Movement, led by former minister and #BringBackOurGirls campaigner Oby Ezekwesili, is calling for the APC and PDP to be “sent off”. Meanwhile, the Not Too Young To Run movement is demanding the inclusion of young people in the political space.
Unfortunately, there is less momentum behind efforts seeking to enhance the participation of women in politics. Less than 6% of Nigeria’s lawmakers are female, one of the lowest proportion in Africa, and while more marginal parties may make space for women and youth to lure voters, the same is likely to be less true of the big parties.
The issues that will determine the 2019 Nigeria elections
Insecurity
One of the biggest issues that will determine the 2019 general elections is insecurity, which is affecting communities across the country. Ongoing instability could affect the vote itself and will certainly be a big issue on the campaign trail.
On Boko Haram in the North East, the APC will claim to have successfully tackled the insurgency. The PDP and other opposition parties will argue against this and likely emphasise the dire humanitarian situation. The candidates may try to woo internally-displaced persons as the election nears.
Another matter will be the conflict between herders and farmers, which has arguably become Nigeria’s most pressing internal security threat. As hundreds have died in clashes over land disputes in a dozen states, the Buhari administration has been criticised for its poor handling of the issue. The conflict – and lack of accountability for heinous crimes – predates the APC’s rule, but its severity and death toll have escalated in recent years.
In the South East, Biafra separatists continue to call for independence. The most prominent voice in this is the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), whose leader Nnamdi Kanu has been missing for several months. The group has vowed that no election will take place in the south east until a referendum on secession is called.
Finally, gang violence has resulted in several deaths recently, particularly in the Niger Delta and South-South region. Worrying, these groups are often instrumentalised by politicians around elections.
The economy
The economy will be another crucial issue. Nigeria is still suffering from a fuel scarcity, while the economic downturn continues. When Buhari came into office, the price of dollar was around N170. Today that figure is closer to N360.
Nigeria exited its first recession in 25 years in the second quarter of 2017, but growth remains sluggish. The country continues to depend on oil, while UN- and under T employment have increased notwithstanding the administration’s novel social intervention programmes (SIP).
Corruption
Buhari rode to victory in 2015 as the anti-corruption candidate, vowing to launch a war on graft. Corruption will once again be an important issue, but the incumbent will struggle to present himself as the same clean crusader this time around.
While Buhari has embarked on some anti-corruption measures, critics note that his allies have avoided prosecution. Various of his associates have been fingered in scams, such as his chief-of-staff Abba Kyari, while the president has been perceived to have targeted his opponents.
The uncoordinated approach taken by agencies in the fight against corruption have contributed to the fact that Nigeria has actually dropped 12 places from 136 to 148 in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.
Social media, fake new, misinformation and disinformation
As in politics and elections across the world, social media is set to play a major role in Nigeria’s 2019 campaign.
In the 2015 elections, hate speeches and misinformation spread far and wide, with Buhari targeted in particular. After the elections, incredible rumours and lies continued to abound, to the extent that there were even allegations that the man that eventually returned from London after prolonged illness was not in fact the real Buhari, but a cloned version from Sudan.
Ahead of the recently concluded Anambra governorship elections, we saw another example of how fast-spreading misinformation could almost skew a process. Rumours emerged on social media that soldiers had invaded schools in Ozobulu, Anambra State, and were forcefully injecting pupils with poisonous substances that cause monkey pox. This led to the shutdown of schools in Imo, Enugu, Abia, Anambra and Ebonyi state and even affected Rivers and Balyesa states. The false story was said to have been posted on the Facebook page of the IPOB, which had vowed to disrupt any elections in the region.
Nigeria’s social media space is generally highly susceptible from manipulation by influential individuals with vested interests and little sense of electoral ethics. They are ready to confuse or divide people along ethnic, religious or other lines to serve their own ends. In 2015, the PDP recruited Cambridge Analytica. In 2019, those with sufficient resources may again solicit the services of international PR firms with records of employing questionable methods.
 
 
 
Idayat Hassan is director of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), an Abuja-based policy advocacy and research organization with focus on deepening democracy and development in West Africa.
This article was first published on African Arguments  www.africanarguments.org
 

Premium Times, CDD release report on Anambra Election

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Election Analysis Centre Anambra: 

Operational Lapses mar otherwise peaceful elections

Against the anticipated fear of insecurity marring the Anambra governorship elections, polls have closed and counting is underway. The Independent Electoral National Commission, INEC, have in their own way delivered the elections even if marred by challenges of late opening and card reader malfunctioning.  INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had in October assured Nigerians that his team has put in place measures to ensure a hitch-free election in Anambra.
“The preparation we have put in place for Anambra is simply amazing. We have done all that needs to be done to ensure a successful outing. We have finished printing the voters’ register in triplicate. One in colour, two in black and white,” Prof. Yakubu said while addressing a dialogue session with civil society organizations in Abuja. Obviously, there was a discrepancy between what was promised and what was delivered.
However, the realities of the election have been far from promises made by the commission as challenges of late opening of polls, malfunctioning of card reader, flagrant vote buying and selling, and complaint of ad-hoc officials welfare mar a much-anticipated election
Opening of Polls
The election witnessed a late opening of polls, with polls opening averagely between 9 and 11am as against the stipulated 8am. This lateness was not unlinked to late deployment of election materials.
Card Readers Malfunction
Contrary to INEC’s promise that smart card readers will function optimally and that there would be no recourse to manual accreditation or use of incidence form, for the umpteenth time, the smart card reader malfunctioned. In some of the poling units we observed, the smart card readers failed to capture fingerprints of voters and instead manual accreditation was deployed.  For instance, at ward 1, polling units 002, 003, 004, at All Saints Primary School Onitsha, voters were delayed for accreditation over failure of the card readers. Same was the case at Bishop Patterson Junior Seminary Mbosi Ward 20, Polling unit 004, polling unit 003, Ubuluisiozor, Ihiala LGA, polling unit 003 St Peters Ogidi and several others.
Meanwhile, the incumbent Governor, Willie Obiano, was also unable to use the card reader at his Eri Primary School, Unit 004, Otuocha 1, Aguleri, polling unit as the card readers also malfunctioned. There is definitely a need for further refinement and improvement in the card readers for future elections.
Omission of Ad-Hoc Staff Names And Their Welfare
Elements of operational lapses started manifesting on Friday, a day to election, when some ad-hoc staff, already trained for the elections could not ascertain where they were posted to as their names were not on the INEC list. Information gathered from our observers revealed that INEC did not paste the final list until the eve of the Election Day. This incident generated lots of speculations that the names of trained ad-hoc staff may have been replaced overnight.
For example, corps members at the Nkpor Registration Area Centre in Idemili North Local Government insisted they be paid their feeding allowance before setting out for the day’s business.
INEC has however tried to blame it on the attitude of the corps members, saying some refused to go where they were posted.
Vote Buying and Selling (AKA Stomach Infrastructure)
The place of money in Nigeria politics again reared its head during the election as agents of different political parties were sighted openly distributing food and cash gifts at polling booths to sway the support of voters.
Our observers witnessed agents of the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), All Progressives Congress (APC), and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) either giving cash or cooked food as gifts to voters. In some cases, voters handed over their voter cards for money. For example, at Illo Abito square, Nsugbe, where the APC gubernatorial aspirant, Tony Nwoye, voted, people received cooked rice as encouragement to vote for the party.
Also at the Okija Ward 2, PU009, Umuohi Community Primary School, our observers witnessed suspected agents of the PDP, APC, APGA wooing voters with cash. At Nnewi Ichi Polling Unit 003, our observers witnessed suspected APGA agents giving prospective voters money in exchange for their voter cards. Also, agents of APGA shared gala sausage and Malt drink at Polling Unit 020/ and Unit 021, Community Primary School at Abatete.
However, the incident of vote selling assumed a different dimension in this election as some voters demanded for enticements before casting their votes for parties. Some of these cases occurred at Nnewi Ichi ward, Polling Unit 003, Polling Unit 008 Umudioka Primary School Awkuzu ward 2 and some others. Our observers also captured a video of inducement at Umuenem, Otolo Ward 2, Nnewi North LGA. Watch at https://youtu.be/aU64GKs-mVE
Over ‘Securitisation’ of the Elections
The Anambra Governorship elections was over securitized with 26,000 police officers, 13,000  civil defence officials, 10 gunboats and 3 helicopters deployed. This may not be unconnected to the threat of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which threatened that unless a referendum is conducted, the Anambra governorship election shall not hold.  To demonstrate their seriousness, just one week to the election, IPOB held a massive rally and threatened voters with death if they vote and also vowed to disrupt the election. This factor may have accounted for the massive deployment of security in the state.
While the security officers are largely reported to have been decorous, there are few isolated incidences of high handedness. On Friday, 17th November, the eve of the election, observers witnessed police officials driving in Hilux vans in the capital, Awka, shooting indiscriminately into the air at flyover, at Aroma junction of the capital at about 2pm.
There was also the case of the Punch correspondent whom police threatened to shoot for taking photographs. However, we have no evidence at this point to show that the massive deployment of military affected voter’s turnout. A review of the voter turnout in Anambra state since 2007 reveals a progressive decline.  For instance, of the 1.84 million registered voters in the State for the 2010 governorship election only 302,000 voted, representing a mere 16 per cent voter turnout. Again, in 2013, while a total of 1, 770,127 were registered, only 465,891 voted representing just 24 per cent voter turn-out
Incidences
Our observers reported an isolated case of ballot box snatching by two men at the Amaugochukwu Hall 1 polling unit in Idemili South Local Government which led to the disruption of accreditation and voting.   The NEC officials were reported to have fled the scene with the ballot papers only to return to discover that the card reader and ballot box had been carted away. However, it is important to state that as at the time of filing this report, there was no significant violent incident recorded.
While the voting phase of this election has ended and counting is underway, it is important for us to critically compare and contrast the elections with previous elections, for instance the November 26th, 2016 Ondo elections. The elections witnessed early opening, few challenges with smart card readers and other logistics. It is important to interrogate the Anambra election to be sure that environmental variables have not contributed to the challenge being witnessed.
The election analysis centre ran by Premium Times and Centre for Democracy and Development will be issuing another release on the result collation phase.
Signed 
Idayat Hassan                                                         Dapo Olorunyomi
Director                                                                   CEO & Publisher