OrderPaperToday – As part of its preparations to effectively cover the governorship election in Kogi State, the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) will deploy about 325 citizen observers to implement its quick count model of election monitoring.
In a pre-election statement by its chairman, Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi, TMG said the figure comprise 300 stationary observers and 25 roving observers across the 21 Local Government Areas of Kogi State on Election Day.
Explaining its procedures for the polls, TMG said “TMG’s citizen observers will report to their assigned polling unit at 7:00am and remain there throughout setup, accreditation, voting, counting and finally announcement of the official results. Throughout the day, every citizen observer at sampled polling units will send in seven (7) coded text messages to TMG’s National Information Centre (NIC) located at the Reverton Hotel, Lokoja.
“Coded text messages sent by TMG’s citizen observers will provide detailed information on the conduct of the process as well as the official results for the polling unit as announced by the poll officials. Over the course of Election Day, TMG’s NIC will receive over 2100 text messages containing 27,000 individual pieces of information about the November 21, 2015 Governorship election in Kogi State. This will provide TMG with far more information on the election than any other observation group.
“Once the text messages are received at TMG’s National Information Centre they will be processed and reviewed. 12 data clerks plus 3 additional support staff manning the critical incidents desk will scrutinize all reports to ensure the information is authentic and accurate. On Election Day, TMG’s National Information Centre will open at 6:30 am and will remain open until counting has finished at all sampled polling units and all TMG citizen observers have sent all seven of their observation reports. TMG’s National Information Centre is open to the public and media at all times. In addition to the process data, TMG citizen observers will also send critical incident text on happening around the polling unit that could fundamentally affect the integrity of the election.
According to TMG, “Quick Count is an advanced observation methodology that employs well established statistical principles and utilizes sophisticated information technologies. TMG’s Quick Count provides the most timely and accurate information on the conduct of voting and counting and is the only observation methodology that can independently verify the official results of the governorship election as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“TMG’s Quick Count for November 21, 2015 Kogi State Governorship election will involve deploying 300 carefully selected, trained and accredited stationary citizen observers to a representative random sample of 300 polling units out of the total of 2548 in all 21 LGAs. These citizen observers will witness the entire Election Day processes from setup of the polling unit through the announcement and posting of the official results. Throughout the course of the day, TMG’s citizen observers will send in reports in near real time via coded text message using their mobile phones to a National Information Centre (NIC) located at the Reverton Hotel in Lokoja.”
The group said it had been observing the entire electoral process for the Kogi election since September, 2015 when it deployed 21 pre-election citizen observers (one per LGA) as part of its Pre-Election Observation (PREO) initiative.