Nigeria: PTCIJ Deploys 54 Observers to Monitor Poll Integrity in Edo

19 September 2020

PTCIJ's programme director, Tosin Alagbe, said three observers have been deployed to each of the local government areas in the state.

In line with its mission to promote a democratic electoral process in Nigeria, Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) today, Saturday, deployed 54 observers to witness the process of the governorship elections in Edo State with the support of the European Union.

PTCIJ's programme director, Tosin Alagbe, said three observers have been deployed to each of the local government areas in the state, and they will each be covering a minimum of ten polling units (PU) per LGA for the election day.

Ms Alagbe said observers who are fully trained will report on the political environment, the setup and opening of polling stations, the voter turnout, the number of assisted voters, and the ratio of redirected and those turned away.

She added that the presence of polling agents, presence of security agents, as well as well as the quality and size of women, youth and people with disability participating in the elections.

"This is a huge test for democracy in Nigeria," said Ms Alagbe who urged citizens of the state to defeat the bleak predictions that Edo State will be a blood bath because, as most pre-election reports had suggested, the state is awash in arms with countless trouble makers who are signed to arson and destruction.

Ms Alagbe remarked that the Edo State election will also test the capacity of the media to help deepen democratic engagement in the country through accurate and truthful reporting, adding that in a modest attempt to make this possible, "PTCIJ and four leading media partners have come together in an initiative tagged the media coalition for election reporting through which we are drawn by a high sense of our constitutional responsibility to help extend each other's news coverage resources through collaborative reporting that deepens citizens capacity to make informed electoral choices."

She said the media coalition will also have access to the massive footprints of the Yiaga Africa group which is deploying about 300 volunteers in a carpet coverage of Edo state in the bid to help ensure the integrity of the polls.

The partnership is a loose coalition that includes the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), the Premium Times newsroom, The Cable, Daily Trust, and the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

The media coalition idea draws from the vision of the Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria of the European Union, (EU-SDGN), that the PTCIJ is implementing with the aim to contribute to the reinforcement of democracy in Nigeria.

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