Nigeria’s leading investigative newspaper, PREMIUM TIMES, is deploying its crowd-sourcing tradition to enhance its coverage of Saturday’s governorship and state assemblies elections.
In a statement Friday, the paper requested its readers and other Nigerians to contribute text, photographs, audio and video recordings of events at polling units and collation centres across the country.
The call, the paper said, is in line with its “Snap and Send project”, an initiative it launched on the eve of the March 28 presidential and national assembly elections.
The project saw readers sending in reports in text, video and audio formats from their polling units, an initiative many Nigerians believe contributed to the improved transparency in the elections.
With voters snapping and sending in results of elections as collated and announced by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission at polling units, analysts say, it became difficult for rogue politicians and INEC staff to rig the elections.
The project yielded lots of photographs and videos, including one which exposed some INEC staff colluding with supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party to rig the elections in Akwa Ibom state.
That video has remained one of the most watched on YouTube for days and officials of INEC say the electoral body is now investigating the matter.
“The campaign was extremely successful for the presidential elections,” PREMIUM TIMES managing editor, Musikilu Mojeed said. “We are thankful and expecting more.”
Mr. Mojeed added, “We are once again requesting everyone to get involved. We like to remind them that their phones are powerful tools. They should use their phones to documents events and results in their polling units, and send to us for publishing.
“We are confident that by sending in photographs, videos and other data collected during the voting and counting, those who participate in this project will be helping to make the elections transparent and credible.
“This an opportunity for Nigerians, not just the political parties, INEC or security officer to ensure that the elections are conducted in a free and fair manner, with minimum opportunity for rigging.”
Meanwhile, PREMIUM TIMES has opened its innovative Election Centre to begin live reporting of Saturday’s polls.
Steps to Join the Snap and Send movement:
1. Go to your polling unit and get accredited
2. Vote and wait, peacefully, for the result
3. Snap the result once it is pasted and send to us via:
– WhatsApp: 08178301000
– Twitter: #NigeriaDecides #Nigeria2015 #Result
– BBM: 52DD4C85
– Instagram: tag @premiumtimes
– Facebook: www.Facebook.com/premiumtimes