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Bayelsa gubernatorial election results was manipulated, says YIAGA

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Maureen Okpe

Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA), a civil society organisation (CSO), has called on INEC and other stakeholders for an inclusive,transparent and accountable audit on the Bayelsa gubernatorial saying there are indications that the results of the election was manipulated.

In a press statement made available by the communication officer Moshood Isah at a press briefing Monday, YIAGA, stated that,there were inconsistencies in the Bayelsa election as results has been announced with some polling units not holding elections.

“INEC has now released results for the Bayelsa governorship election without holding elections in all polling units. INEC announced 352,552 votes or 71% for APC and 143,172 or 29% votes for PDP,” the statement read.

“These results are not consistent with the PVT estimates of between 62% and 46% for APC and 52% and 37% for PDP. This suggests that the results were manipulated during the collation process. If the tabulation process had been conducted properly then INEC’s official results would fall within the PVT estimates.

“YIAGA AFRICA Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) YIAGA AFRICA WTV adopts the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology for election day observation at the polling units. The PVT is a proven and advanced observation methodology that employs well-established statistical principles and utilizes sophisticated information technologies.

“As stated in YIAGA AFRICA preliminary statement, the PVT is not able to independently verify, regardless of the outcome, who won the Bayelsa gubernatorial election because elections did not occur in 61 of 250, or approximately 24%, of sampled polling units. This reduces the PVT sample and therefore YIAGA AFRICA cannot verify the outcome of the result.

“However, the PVT is still able to determine if the collation process was conducted properly and expose manipulation during the collation process. If the official results as announced fall outside of the PVT estimated range, then the results have been manipulated during the collation process.

“The official results as announced by INEC for APC and PDP are not consistent with the PVT estimates… INEC announced that APC received 352,552 or 71% of the vote while the PVT estimated range is between 62% and 46% meaning that the largest vote share APC could have received is 62% of the vote.

“Similarly, INEC announced that PDP received 143,172 or 29% of the vote while the PVT estimated range is between 52% and 37% meaning that the smallest vote share PDP could have received is 37%.

The organisation also calls on the national assembly to priortise electoral reforms, challenging President Muhammadu Buhari to “leave a legacy of reforms that will end electoral impunity, strengthen democratic institutions and deepen the culture of democratic accountability”.

“YIAGA AFRICA PVT sample of polling units was drawn according to well established statistical principles and is truly representative of all of the polling units because the percentage of sampled polling units for each LGA is similar to the percentage of all polling units for each LGA,” it said.

“For example, Brass LGA has 8.80% of all the polling units in Bayelsa (159 of 1,804) and 8.80% (22 of 250) of the sampled polling units are in Brass LGA. While not identical, the percentages for every LGA are very close, clearly demonstrating that the PVT sample is representative of the entire state.

“Those found responsible, from INEC, political parties, security agencies, or any other body, for either preventing a polling unit from opening or manipulating the results during the collation process must be held accountable and brought to book.”

YIAGA AFRICA states it readiness in working with the INEC to carry out this audit in order that the people of Bayelsa can have confidence in their elections and the results for the 2019 governorship election.

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