2019 Elections: Transparency organisation to deploy more than 5,000 observers

Connected Development (CODE), a transparency and accountability organisation, is to deploy more than 5,000 observers nationwide to ensure that the Feb. 16 and March 2elections are free, fair and credible.

22, 643 candidates to contest 1, 504 posts in 2019 general elections

Lawal said that Uzabe was a mapping tool that would enable observers establish early warning systems for communities and voters and strengthen mitigation and emergency response during elections.

We are launching Uzabe in partnership with Ushahidi, a technology giant based in Nairobi, to ensure that we are able to document situations real-time as they happen during the general elections.

What we have done is to populate everywhere in Nigeria on that map; all the data we got from INEC of 120,000 polling units we put on the map.

Connected Development has mobilised more than 5,000 young people to observe the entire process across the country.

We have a team that will first verify and authenticate the reports that come in; as much as we are passionate about informing people we do not want to misinform people.

Our platform is integrated by WhatsApp and SMS to a dedicated number so communities where there is no internet access our observers can send messages.

Lawal, said the platform allowed for eyewitness reports which would go through a verification process before being published.

The technology platform helps Nigerian citizens to give situation and eyewitness report from all polling units across the 36 states in real time.

This will help security agencies to know where there is impending violence or where violence is happening in real time.

He said that CODE worked with the grassroots and had used the opportunity to sensitise the people to ensure that citizens owned the entire election process.

Lawal added that CODE also partnered with Facebook to fact-check fake news.

In his address, the Communications Lead, Mr Kolo Kenneth said that CODE was working with a cross-section of newsrooms to curb the spread of fake news in the country.

Leading to the elections, we have been tracking misinformation across social media especially, and we are working with newsrooms across Nigeria called Crosscheck Nigeria.

What this project does is to fact-check the information that is going round to be sure which is true and which is not.

Kenneth said that there was a dedicated WhatsApp platform for the general public to send information which was verified within two to eight days.

He added that the organisation had improved on the features of Uzabe and Nigerians could log on to www.uzabe.org to find information.

Mr Emmanuel Njoku, Programme Manager, Democracy and Governance, CODE said the organisation had been working with INEC ahead of the general elections.

To the best of our knowledge, we can say that a lot has been put on ground to see that this election is very successful.

Most of the recommendations we made to INEC after our 2015 election report influenced the recently released 2019 election guidelines.

The Founder, Silver Lining Initiative, Hauwa Abbas said that her organisation, in partnership with CODE, had set out 1,000 observers for Northwest states.

Abbas said that the initiative had been involved in voters education at the grassroots to promote peaceful and credible elections.

I believe we all know election is grassroots and for 2011, 2015 and now the 2019 elections, we have been actively involved in voters education so that voters understand the process and guidelines to follow to ensure peaceful and credible elections.

She also urged the media to curb the spread of fake news and information that could cause violence during the elections in the country.

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