About 600 election observers would be deployed by the Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, a coalition of over 400 civil society groups, to all the 21 local government areas of Anambra State for next month’s governorship election.
Speaking in Awka, the Anambra State capital when the group paid an advocacy visit to the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Professor Chukwuemeka Onukaogu at the weekend, TMG chairman, Ibrahim Zikirullahi said that the observers would be trained on how to transmit their information to the its headquarters in Abuja from the field for prompt collation on Election Day.
Mr. Zikirullahi frowned at a situation whereby reports of election observers came weeks after the election when somebody would have been declared winner.
His words, “TMG will use a new and innovative approach to citizen non –partisan observation, utilizing statistics and Information and Communication Technologies, ICT. As opposed to the conventional monitoring method, ICT will make it possible to report incidents to the relevant agencies as they happen. It will also make it possible to have pictorial records of incidents.”
He added that TMG would collaborate with relevant national agencies to ensure that prompt action was taken on incidents reported, adding that any person, who engaged in any form of malpractice during the election would be prosecuted.
The TMG chairman also noted that from reports so far received in Anambra State, it would appear that politicians have learnt nothing and forgotten nothing going by their non-adherence to the rules of the game.
Mr. Zikirullahi regretted that some candidates were inducing voters with money and other materials, which, he said contravenes the provisions of the Electoral Act.
He said further: “There is no doubt that Anambra State is a hot spot state whenever there is election. The state has a record of having the highest number of contestants for any elective post and the sheer number of candidates for the forthcoming governorship election poses logistic challenges to INEC”.