Ahead of Saturday’s presidential election, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), a leading peace and security organisation, said it has deployed 114 observers to all the 109 senatorial districts across the country.
The co-Chair of WANEP’s Nigerian elections observer group, Barrister Aisha Ado Abdullahi, added that 37 personnel comprising data collectors, analysts, communication experts and eminent persons will be stationed in their situation room to properly monitor and analyze the unfolding events from the elections.
Barr. Aisha stated this at the organisation’s maiden election press conference in Abuja, where she said WANEP has established and operated Election Monitoring, Analysis and Mitigation (E-MAM) across W/Africa as part of its support to ECOWAS and AU efforts in ensuring the credibility and peaceful conduct of elections in W/Africa.
“The ESR is part of a broader programme launched in October 2018 in Abuja in collaboration with ECOWAS and the AU. The focus of the ESR is to observe threats to the peaceful conduct of the electioneering process and provide strategic responses to support the prevention and mitigation of election related violence during the Presidential and National Assembly elections of 16 th February 2019. WANEP joins other accredited domestic and international observers to contribute to credible, free and fair elections across the 36 states of Nigeria and the FCT. Meanwhile, our ESR comprises of the Data Gathering, Analysis, Decision and Communication Room,” she said.
To facilitate their observation, Aisha Abdullahi, said WANEP collaborated with the ECOWAS Early Warning Directorate (EWD) to develop a user-friendly Arc GIS online application platform to generate data from the field observers to the Situation Room in Abuja.
Her words: “It is a live platform designed to enable triangulation of reports for analysis and to inform engagement with national and international stakeholders. It also enhances WANEP’s strategic contribution to its partners such as ECOWAS, the AU, United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) and other stakeholders. Additional information will be uploaded through dedicated WhatsApp platforms and the telephone communications from the ESR to the observers in the field.”
On his part, Prof. Isaac Albert, co-Chair, commended INEC, the security agencies and all other stakeholders for their efforts in preparing for the elections, advising the political parties and electorate to conduct themselves peacefully before, during and after the elections.