The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has said that it will deploy 40 million of its members across the federation to monitor Saturday’s presidential election.
Making the disclosure to newsmen in Abuja, the Chairman of the Strategy Committee of the PDP Presidential Campaign, Osita Chidoka, said the party had also put in place a state-of-art Parallel Voting Tabulation, PVT, system for the same purpose.
Accordingly to Mr Chidoka, the PVT is a scientifically proven, best practice technique, to hold election authorities accountable, particularly when there is lack of trust, and the results are highly contested.
Mr Chidoka said: “The PVT is a tool that will assure that PDP partisans accept the results of the election, and that the country remains peaceful and respectful of its differences. We are aware that other PVTs will be conducted by civil society.
“Our methodology accounts for several different scenarios to ensure continued collation of the results in the event of any disruptions with collation process.
“Hard copies of the signed voter tally provided to all party agents by the NEC officers, will be transported to the central command centre should future disputes need to be reconciled”.
Also in place, according to Mr Chidoka, is a national network of fully equipped Situation Rooms and call centres. The centres will be fed a reporting system for the PVT through the wards, to the district headquarters, to the states, up to the national tally centre.
He further stated that the system has redundancies built at all levels, in the event of internet or comms shutdown or failure or any other eventualities.
“The scope of the effort is historic for Nigeria, and it will provide us with statistical certainty to accept or challenge the declared results,” Mr Chidoka added.
As part of the measures put in place to safeguard the party’s votes, the spokesman said the PDP will be deploying an unprecedented number of trained party agents to each of the 176,000 polling units across the country.
Mr Chidoka said they will be transmitting the results as certified by the party’s National Executive Committee, NEC, officers at the polling units in real-time.
“The PDP has pivoted from recruiting first-time polling agents to recruiting high quality, educated individuals whose maturity and experience will help them manage and mitigate against challenges on election day.
“Systems tests, and dry runs are being conducted to ensure our system is secure and fully integrated, from the polling unit all the way through to the party leadership,” Mr Chidoka added.
The main opposition party also said it has launched a nation-wide hotline for members of the public to report violence and electoral malpractices, with a multiple line inbound call centre linked to a single hotline number 097000551.
According to Mr Chidoka, the call centre will be able to identify issues to escalate serious concerns to both the party headquarters and other relevant authorities as appropriate.
The party is also targeting voter bloc of 18 to 25 years of age, many of who are first time voters, with a set of 12 easy-to-follow guidelines already communicated to voters.
Similarly, an interactive artificial intelligence message will be sent by the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar as his final campaign message imploring people to come out and vote.
The PDP said it has studied the All Progressives Congress, APC, “playbook” from the Osun governorship election, alleging attempts at voter suppression, including interference and intimidation of voters, journalists, and civil society observers.
Mr Chidoka continued, “Most alarmingly, the security services were deployed to discourage voter turnout in opposition strong-holds.
The PDP is concerned that the Osun playbook could be deployed again by the government, especially in the states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta, Kaduna, Kano, and Rivers.
“In response to Osun and other incidents of electoral malpractice, and in ensuring a free and fair election in Nigeria, the PDP has adopted international best practices including; establishing a robust elections results management system and our wide array of intelligence collectors and patriotic public servants who are resolute in defending the Constitution and the integrity of our electoral process.
“We exhort all Nigerians, whoever they wish to support, to come to the polls this Saturday and cast their vote with confidence.
“Nigerian voters should go to the polls this Saturday in record numbers, confident that the electoral process will be upheld based on our laws and our constitution.
“We are pleased with the signing of The National Peace Accord today and look forward to all parties honoring our shared commitment.
“We are also confident that our election officials and security services will do their duty in accordance with their oaths and obligations.
“Particularly, we call on the Inspector General of Police whose wide international experience places him with a historic burden to ensure that security agencies strictly abide by the election code of conduct and rules of engagement.
“Never in Nigerian electoral history has a candidate been so prepared to win the election and get Nigeria working again, as Atiku Abubakar.
“Likewise, no Nigerian political party has been so prepared to help ensure that the will of the people will prevail through peaceful, free and fair elections.
“The PDP is presenting some examples of our efforts, to give the Nigerian people the confidence that their vote, as expressed at the ballot box, will prevail”.