The YIAGA Africa through its Watching The Vote (WTV) project, on Monday, commenced nationwide advocacy across Nigeria ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The WTV said it would explore areas of collaboration as well provide information on the ongoing ”pre-election observation” across Nigeria.
In a statement signed by its project director, Cynthia Mbamalu, she said the visit aims at educating ‘stakeholders’ and the role they needed to play for peaceful polls.
The stakeholders include the electoral commision, security personnel, media groups, traditional and religious leaders, she added.
”YIAGA AFRICA’s Watching The Vote (WTV) has commenced a nationwide advocacy visit to election stakeholders in Nigeria, in a bid to share the promises of the WTV Project, discuss the deployment plans for the 2019 elections.
”Seek stakeholder buy-in and explore areas of collaboration as well as to provide information on the ongoing pre-election observation across Nigeria,” she said.
It also said it would use the report gathered from the 822 Long Term Observers (LTO) deployed across Nigeria to discuss with stakeholders on its pre-election plans.
”Using our national structure of one or more State Focal Point in each of the 36 states and one Local Government Area Supervisor in each of the 774 LGAs, we have commenced our advocacy visits to some major election stakeholders in Nigeria to enable us to discuss our reports and recommendations from the pre-election environment and share our plans for the observation of the 2019 general elections.
”The Advocacy visit wouldn’t have come at a better time as it enables YIAGA AFRICA’s Watching The Vote project reach out to elections stakeholders which include, INEC, the Nigerian Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC), National Orientation Agency, Nigerian Union of Journalists, other Civil Society Organisations, Traditional and Religious Leaders as well as Faith-Based Organisations (FBOs),” the statement said in part.
The WTV said it would also involve religious and traditional leaders ”as they play huge roles as influencers to their followers in preaching the electoral message”.
”The Watching The Vote team are also paying advocacy visits to the Nigerian Union of Journalists offices across Nigeria as this will ensure that information on the electoral process will be amplified as wide as possible.”