2019: WANEP deploys 114 observers, 37 others for presidential election

As part of preparations for the presidential election for Saturday, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) said it has deployed about 114 observers for the elections, adding that 37 other personnel comprising data collectors, analysts, communication experts and eminent persons would ve stationed in the situation room to monitor the process.

WANEP, a leading peace and security organization in West Africa, working in partnership with ECOWAS and Africa Union in monitoring and analyzing security threats, including elections and electoral process in the ECOWAS member states.

While addressing a news conference Friday night, the organisation said it would emback on intensive monitoring and analysis process, culminating in the specific observation of the Presidential and National Assembly elections, targets prioritized medium and high risk areas throughout the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“To facilitate the success of the ESR, WANEP has deployed 114 observers for the elections. In addition, 37 personnel comprising data collectors, analysts, communication experts and eminent persons are in the Situation Room.The ESR will be operational for four days from February 15-18, 2019 in Abuja.

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“To facilitate the observation, WANEP collaborated with the ECOWAS Early Warning Directorate (EWD) to develop a user-friendly Arc GIS online mobile application platform to generate data from the field observers to the Situation Room in Abuja. 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 African Union, United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) and other stakeholders. Additional Information will be uploaded through dedicated WhatsApp platforms and telephone communications from the ESR to the observers in the field,” spokesperson of the group,” the chairman of the eminent pasonalities, Hon. Salamatu Hussain stated.

Madam Hussain also said WANEP would work with other accredited domestic and international observers to contribute to credible, free and fair elections across the 36 states of Nigeria and the FCT.

While commending the electoral empire and the security agencies for their preparations so far, the spokesperson said WANEP’s he Data Gathering Room constitutes the technical room, where data collectors are stationed to directly communicate with field observers across the states.

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“They will collate all data through the Arc 360 GIS mobile application designed and supported by the ECOWAS EWD and all other media channels for analysis. Data will be categorized and mapped in order to inform analysis of risks that could affect the conduct of the elections across the country.

“The Analysis Room is the second section and will be responsible for interpreting the data for informed and swift response actions. The experts in the room are drawn from leading academic institutions, think tanks, media and civil society organizations. They comprise experts including lawyers, political scientists, peace and security practitioners, human rights advocates, gender and communication professionals. These experts ensure that the thematic areas of the observation exercise are distinctly captured, analyzed, reported and disseminated to the appropriate audience for action.

“The Decision Room brings together eminent persons who can use their good offices to influence positive responses to identified electoral threats. They comprise non-partisan personalities in Nigeria. They will be called upon to engage in rapid preventive diplomacy and political dialogue if and when the need arises in order to address escalating tensions.

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“The Communication Room comprises experts responsible for the dissemination of reports and information to key partners including the African Union, ECOWAS, UNOWAS and other stakeholders. They are the coordinating link between WANEP ESR and key partners. They are responsible for dissemination to the public through social media platforms including WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and also provide response to inquiries from interested external stakeholders. They will ensure documentation and distribution of media kits as well as coordinate engagement between the mediaand the ESR.”

Also contributing, Dr. Chukwu Emeke, revealed that the organisation has been observing the processes leading to the general elections six months before the date.

He said they will not focus their attention on name calling or problems arising but how to work with relevant institutions to address the problems.

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