Nigerian Youth Celebrate Social Media as Tool of Successful Election

LAGOS, NIGERIA – Esther Eshiet, 24, a social worker in southern Nigeria, says she used social media programs such as Facebook and Twitter to report on what transpired at her polling units and learn about what happened at polling units across the country during the presidential and parliamentary elections this month.

“The platforms were great!” Eshiet says. “Especially Twitter, it provided me the opportunity to be followed by different persons and different news agencies. My tweets were quoted by international media firms.”

Eshiet says she also used ReVoDa, a program that encouraged the 87,297,789 Nigerians with mobile phones and 43,982,200 Nigerians with Internet access to be “informal election observers.” Created by Enough is Enough Nigeria, a coalition of young people and youth organizations seeking good governance and public accountability, ReVoDa made it possible for registered voters to report from their respective polling units across Nigeria and receive election information via its mobile application or text message.

“The amazing thing about social media that I like is the ability it [provides to] use a small device as a GSM phone to break communication gaps that had existed in the past,” says Eshiet, who says she also uploaded photos of the citizens who turned out en masse to vote.

 She says that the new information and communication technologies, ICTs, not only encouraged young people to participate but also helped to preserve the integrity of the elections.

“Using ICTs to monitor elections in Nigeria has proved to me that elections can be free and fair in my country and in extension Africa,” Eshiet says. She says that she hopes that technology will continue to help elections evolve.“There should be an [application] developed and utilized if already in existence, which would ensure results are transmitted directly from polling units to the electoral commission,” she says.

Most Nigerians follow elections through traditional media, which young people say aren’t interactive and tend to portray them negatively. But thanks to an explosion of social media and election websites here, young Nigerians say that new media encouraged them to actively and positively participate in this month’s elections. They say that it also helped them to monitor corruption and violence. Although challenges still exist, such as limited Internet access and government cooperation, they say they are optimistic that technology will continue to foster fair and free elections.

Incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan won re-election in Nigeria earlier this month. Young voters trooped to the polls in large numbers, according to various media reports. About 70 percent of the population is under 35, according to Enough is Enough Nigeria, which also helped mobilize young people to vote through its RSVP campaign – Register to vote, Select a candidate to vote for, Vote during the election and Protect your vote.

The number of registered voters in Nigeria has risen throughout the years, from almost 58 million in 1999 to 67 million this year, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. Many called the 2011 election Nigeria’s most peaceful one yet and said they hoped it was a sign of progress in a country with, according to Enough is Enough Nigeria, a history of election manipulation.

 

Young people here say that one sign of this progress was the shift in the use of media during the election that enabled them to become more involved in the process. Most Nigerians typically access election news and information through traditional media, such as newspapers, magazines, television and radio.  “Radio may still be the No. 1 source of news and information, closely followed by rumors and television,” says Gbenga Sesan, a young social entrepreneur.

But Tayo Elegbede, a young radio broadcaster in Lagos, a port city in southern Nigeria, says that traditional media tends to portray young people in a negative light. “Over the years, the traditional media has enjoyed portraying the youths as instruments of violence, as such creating some sensational stories while failing to showcase some good deeds of the youths as agents of community growth and development,” he says.

Acknowledging that traditional media doesn’t provide adequate platforms to involve youth, he says that he tried to use his role as a broadcaster – complemented by social media – to fairly represent the youth during the election.

“In its generality, youth representation within Nigeria’s traditional media has not been fair and quite positive,” he says. “However, the youths themselves are seeing the need to get involved in the activities of the traditional media so as to be represented in positively good light.”

 He says that an increasing shift from traditional to new media has corresponded with a shift in the portrayal of youth from violent to active members of society. He says that the multiple functions of most mobile phones have enabled many Nigerian youths to become ardent consumers and producers of news.

“This they achieve with the mobile radio function, easy Internet connectivity and interaction with the rest of world,” he says.

Thanks to the advent of the Internet in urban areas, a plethora of online election monitoring platforms, such as the Nigeria Elections Coalition (NigeriaElections.org), encouraged Nigerians to track and discuss election trends this year. While some logged on using their computers, others relied on their mobile phones, which is the most accessible and cost-efficient way to connect to the Internet here.

Grace Ihejiamaizu, 20, a bubbly and chirpy sociologist and social entrepreneur from the oil-rich Niger Delta area of southern Nigeria, is among the vibrant youth who not only voted during the elections, but also served as an informal observer, using social media as a tool for information dissemination.

“I’m just a young person poised with great passion for positive change in Nigeria,” Ihejiamaizu says. “You may like to know that I [am] passionately committed to creating value and helping young people develop their leadership and entrepreneurship skills towards nation building.”

She says social media helped her and other young people to do this during election season, as more and more young people have become familiar with online and social media, thanks to a rise in easy-to-use mobile devices, computers and other gadgets. She says Twitter, a microblogging service, enabled her to mobilize young people in her community to actively participate in the election – all from her mobile phone.

“With Twitter, it was ‘on-the-go’ and easy for me, as I tweeted and re-tweeted constantly,” she says.

She says it also helped her to be involved in a March presidential debate organized by youth groups to address youth issues in Abuja, the capital, even though she doesn’t live there.

“I am not based in Abuja, but with Twitter, I participated and followed live the #WhatAboutUs Presidential Debate,” she says. “Twitter helped me connect better and learn instantly reports, news and stories from various corners of the country and polling units.”

She says she also read election updates on online media networks, such as Enough is Enough Nigeria (www.eienigeria.com) and Celebrating Progress Africa (www.cp-africa.com), as well as published her own updates via Facebook.

“With the help of Facebook, I shared stories, facts and gists about the politicians, their campaigns, the policies of their various parties, electoral processes, situation reports and a lot more,” she says.She says these new opportunities to become involved in the election in a meaningful way encouraged her to finally do so.

“Most importantly, Facebook helped to broaden my horizon and knowledge on politics,” she says. “It inspired me to get more involved in political issues. I voted for the first time, encouraged my mother to vote too for the first time [and] educated others on the need to vote.”

Chude Jideonwo, a young publisher and television host, says that the country should capitalize on young people’s participation, which new media has made easier. “Take advantage of the energy of youth and the freshness that comes from a lack of cynicism to engage the issues that concern them and their environment,” Jideonwo says. “Digital media has made this so much easier with its capacity to share and to mobilize far beyond traditional boundaries. There is a continuing convergence around the mobile phone as an effective means of communications.”

Sesan agrees.

“Fortunately, we have seen an increased sense of responsibility among young Nigerians, and I think Internet access has increased awareness and even helped shaped public debate,” he says.

Elegbede says that monitoring and reporting the elections using new media tools was not only interesting and fun, but also allowed young people to act as watchdogs on the government.

“Instant and accurate reports from credible sources were received/collected from all around the country,” Elegbede says. “Instances of rigging and other electoral malpractices were monitored and perhaps minimized with the consciousness on the part of the perpetrators that mobile devices are watching.”

INEC reported few irregularities in this year’s election.

Sesan, who directs the ReVoDa program, says that ReVoDa aimed to monitor the election process. “The mobile application allows each [person] to [protect] their votes by capturing details such as INEC officials’ conduct, police behavior, incidents, results, etc., that can be used to gauge how free and fair the elections are in each area,” he says.

He says that young people also used Twitter to report post-election violence in the north. Youth in the north attacked and killed National Youth Corps Service members, who assisted INEC with the election, accusing them of rigging it in favor of Jonathan, who is from the south.

But Ihejiamaizu acknowledges that there are still challenges that prevent the widespread use of new media and, therefore, involvement in the political process.

“We may face such challenges as low and cost-intensive network/Internet services and lack of access to Internet/Internet gadgets, especially for rural dwellers and disadvantaged youths,” she says. Sesan says that only 30 percent of Nigerians had Internet access as of December 2010.

“In a country of millions, close to 10,000 downloads isn’t a large number,” Sesan said of the ReVoDa application. “Even though we got quality reports from the few thousands that sent in reports, quantity would have helped the context of our analysis.”

But he says connectivity is improving.

“With 44 million Internet users and about 3 million on Facebook, access is improving and it will get better because over 80 million mobile phones users will increasingly benefit from the move towards ubiquitous access,” he says. “At least two major indigenous submarine fiber-optic cables are now active in Nigeria, so access will improve and so will the digital revolution.”

Oladipo Fasoro, lead developer of Nigeria Elections Coalition, says that government cooperation also limits independent organizations.

“There could have been more engagement if they [INEC officials] provided more information,” Fasoro says.

Nevertheless, Ihejiamaizu says that this year’s increased participation, thanks to new media, is already progress to be proud of.


“My perspective on politics and political participation changed,” Ihejiamaizu says. “I understood my role in politics and how I can be involved. I can proudly say that the success of the 2011 Nigerian elections was a collaborative effort of both the government and the citizens, and I’m glad I was a part.”

THE REPORT OF NATIONAL HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTION HELD ON SATURDAY 9TH APRIL, 2011. MONITORED AT WARD 5 LISA WARD AKURE SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ONDO STATE.

State Code                                          -              OD

Local Government Code               -              06

RA/Ward Code                                  -              05 (Lisa Ward)

Polling Unit Code                             -              021 (School of Nursing)

TIME ARRIVAL:

The Electoral Officer and the party Agents arrived the polling unit at exactly 8.30am.

SECURITY AGENCIES

The security agencies at the polling unit are:

1.            Policemen five (5) members

2.            Civil Defence one (1) member

3.            Prison Services one (1) member

NUMBER OF VOTERS REGISTERED

Seven hundred and six voters registered at the unit during the registration exercise (706).

NUMBER OF VOTERS ACCREDITED

One hundred and thirty-nine voters come out to accredited and vote (139)

NUMBER OF ELECTORAL OFFICIAL

Three INEC officials conducted the election (3)

PARTY AGENCIES

PDP                        -              presented one (1) agent

Labour Party      -              presented one (1) agent

ACN Party           -              presented one (1) agent



TIME OF ACCREDITATION

The accreditation of voters started immediately the INEC official settled for business at 8.45am while voting started at 12.30pm. Voting stopped at 2.00pm after every accredited voters finished voting and sorting started immediately.

During the voting time two box were show case, one for Senate with registration number E911211219 with state code number OD/06/05.021. While the second box is for House of Representative with registration number E9517079 with state code number OD/06/05/021.

NUMBER OF VOTERS VOTED

One hundred and twenty-five voted out of one hundred and thirty-nine accredited, while fourteen voters stall off.

During the counting period, this are the scores are:

For House of Senate

                PARTY                                   SCORES

1.            Labour Party                      83 votes

2.            PDP                                        20 votes

3.            ACN                                       12 votes

4.            ANCP                                    no vote

5.            SDMP                                    no vote

6.            CPC                                        1 vote

7.            ANPP                                    2 votes

Invalid vote                        9

Total votes is      =             124 votes

 

For House of Representative

                PARTY                                   SCORES

1.            ANPP                                    1 vote

2.            CAN                                       4 votes

3.            Labour Party                      81 votes

4.            PDP                                        26 votes

5.            SDMP                                    1 vote

6.            CPC                                        1 vote

7.            ANCP                                    1 vote

Invalid vote                        9

Total votes is      =             124 votes only one person did not vote.

At the polling units counting stopped at exactly 2.49pm.

 

OBSERVATION

During the voting, voters stall around until the vote was counted and taken to the collation centre under a closed security. The atmosphere was free and fair no intimidation.

During my telephone conversation with my field officers at different location across the state all reported that visually everywhere was free and fair and people comes out to vote without intimidation. Thus the election materials came late in some area at almost 9.30am. But in some area like Igbara-Oke Ward 1 and 2, Ero/Ibuji ward, Iseru/Erigi ward in Ifedere Local Government Area (polling unit 10 and 8) witness low turn out. In Owo, Uso Amurin, Emure-Ile, Isuada, Ilale-Ile, Ijebu Iyere Iloro igboroko Ehin Ogbe, all in Owo Local Government Area, the election went on peaceful, there no record of ugly incidence.

At Akure, Oyemekun ward 2, in Akure South Local Government accreditation started at 8.00am. in ward 2 – unit 2 in Oyemekun 157 voters were accredited, polling unit 1 accredited 119 voters unit 6 had 294 voters accredited.

At Ifon in Ose Local Government Area our field officer reported that the turn out was low, due to discouragement that the people experience due to the postponement of the election and again the effect of rainfall in the area which made some of the residents who majorly are formers took advantage of the rain for early farming planting.

According to our field official at Ondo West Local Government of Ondo State reported that the election witness a major set back in some areas due to late arrival of some sensitive materials in some polling unit in the area affected are ward 7, in unit 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28 as at 12.30pm.

At Ijapo Estate. In Akure our field officer reported that accreditation exercise began at 8.30am had 263 voters accredited. The Ijapo ward 4 – unit 17, where 921 voters registered accredited 236 as the voting began at 12.30pm.

Report from our field officer in Akure North Local Government Area said that Oba-Ile, Iju, Itaogbolu, Ogbese, Bolorunduro, Ilu-Abo, Alayere indicate that despite the botched election of last Saturday, voters came out massively to get accredited and vote.

At Odigbo Local Government of South Senatorial District of Ondo State our filed officer reported that the accreditation of voters commence in the area at  about 8.30am and the turnout was encourage. Also in Igbokoda and Okitipupa Local Government Areas accreditation began at some centres early the electoral materials are yet to be distributed to the polling centres as at 9.10am. but electorate turned out massively to performed their franchise.

At the coalition centre the bellow are the Local Government released results.

 

 

IDANRE LOCAL GOVERNMENT HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE


Ward

PDP

LP

ACN

ANPP

APGA

CPC

ARD

NTP

Ijomu/Isure

459

1,220

100

46

-

14

 

 

Isalu/Jigbokin

604

1,394

453

27

-

25

 

 

 

IDANRE LOCAL GOVERNMENT HOUSE OF SENATE


Ward

PDP

LP

ACN

ANPP

APGA

CPC

ARD

NTP

Ijomu/Isure

353

1,348

102

21

2

10

14

10

Isalu/Jigbokin

388

1,817

209

23

3

-

18

13

 

ONDO WEST HOUSE OF SENATE


Ward

PDP

LP

ACN

ANPP

APGA

CPC

ARD

NTP

1

653

2,312

88

64

7

16

14

5

3

61

1,467

105

59

-

14

-

-

4

1,212

2,159

99

64

7

16

45

27

5

769

1,117

46

18

8

15

26

18

9

666

1,742

132

61

12

25

25

3

11

939

2,549

119

-

-

-

-

-

12

415

762

112

23

3

8

18

8

 

ONDO EAST HOUSE OF SENATE


Ward

PDP

LP

ACN

ANPP

APGA

CPC

ARD

NTP

6

1,069

1,422

185

53

-

-

-

-

7

941

6,142

179

180

-

-

-

-

8

544

2,803

98

110

19

9

45

9

10

166

2,868

1,047

85

2

25

10

8

2

1,453

2,505

-

-

-

-

-

-

12

415

762

122

23

3

8

18

8

 

 

 

 

ONDO EAST HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE


Ward

PDP

LP

ACN

ANPP

APGA

CPC

ARD

NTP

1

419

1,237

65

70

-

-

-

-

2

211

409

4

6

-

-

-

-

3

465

1,165

32

73

-

-

-

-

4

822

1,146

89

66

-

-

-

-

5

527

943

64

91

-

-

-

-

6

366

598

22

27

-

-

-

-

7

323

1,209

56

33

-

-

-

-

8

524

1,127

79

40

-

-

-

-

9

303

709

51

43

-

-

-

-

10

243

531

76

35

-

-

-

-

 

OKEIGBO HOUSE OF SENATE


Ward

PDP

LP

ACN

ANPP

APGA

CPC

ARD

NTP

7

1,072

1,361

178

-

-

-

-

-

8

666

853

116

-

-

-

-

-

9

768

963

122

-

-

-

-

-

10

835

1,694

260

-

-

-

-

-

 

OKEIGBO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE


Ward

PDP

LP

ACN

ANPP

APGA

CPC

ARD

NTP

7

1,091

1,232

157

-

-

-

-

-

8

664

775

16

-

-

-

-

-

9

751

897

117

-

-

-

-

-

10

813

1,593

242

-

-

-

-

-

 

OWO HOUSE OF SENATE


Ward

PDP

LP

ACN

ANPP

APGA

CPC

ARD

NTP

1

636

1,050

1,096

-

-

-

-

-

2

533

763

778

-

-

-

-

-

3

465

957

1,735

-

-

-

-

-

4

875

1,231

1,051

-

-

-

-

-

5

989

831

681

-

-

-

-

-

6

664

681

788

-

-

-

-

-

7

2,137

1,289

955

-

-

-

-

-

8

1,056

1,559

1,498

-

-

-

-

-

9

1,740

2,067

1,063

-

-

-

-

-

OWO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE


Ward

PDP

LP

ACN

ANPP

APGA

CPC

ARD

NTP

1

560

1,072

1,121

-

-

-

-

-

2

473

715

854

-

-

-

-

-

3

571

1,083

1,558

-

-

-

-

-

4

799

1,112

1,178

-

-

-

-

-

5

957

765

710

-

-

-

-

-

6

620

658

836

-

-

-

-

-

7

1,551

1,277

1,155

-

-

-

-

-

8

865

1,454

1,726

-

-

-

-

-

9

1,579

2,024

1,112

-

-

-

-

-

 

ONDO WEST HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE


Ward

PDP

LP

ACN

ANPP

APGA

CPC

ARD

NTP

1

635

2,314

99

86

-

-

-

-

3

585

1,444

102

76

-

-

-

-

4

1,166

2,128

95

92

-

-

-

-

5

763

1,124

54

47

-

-

-

-

8

537

2775

106

138

-

-

-

-

9

640

1,682

151

90

-

-

-

-

11

939

2,564

133

143

-

-

-

-

12

413

768

109

43

-

-

-

-

 

OSE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE


Ward

PDP

LP

ACN

ANPP

APGA

CPC

ARD

NTP

1

6952

12,012

3,147

-

-

-

-

-

 

 

 

 

FINAL RESULT AKOKO NORTH WEST

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE

PDP                        -              8,399

LP                           -              12,149

ACN                       -              9,853

HOUSE OF SENATE

PDP                        -              8,621

LP                           -              12,869

ACN                       -              8,215

 

All this result arrived state INEC office at 2.18am (Sunday)

 

 

Joel Samuel Feyisola

Director Sunshine Progressive Youth Alliance

Ondo State.

08039147368

THE REPORT OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN ONDO STATE HELD ON 16TH APRIL, 2011

The presidential election was held in Ondo State last Saturday 16th April, 2011 in a peaceful atmosphere.

Despite the low turnout of voters, but it was impressive. The turnouts was not as massive as the previous National Assembly Election.

As early as 8.30am accreditation of voters started in almost polling unites visited while voting started at 12.30pm without humination. At the end of the election, the below are the scores of the political parties.


ADC

ANPP

APS

ARP

BNPP

FRESH

HDP

LDPN

MPPP

880

6,741

217

122

174

141

098

140

150

 


NCP

NMDP

PDC

NTP

AMP

PPP

SDMP

UNPD

PDP

315

248

1,909

226

800

551

216

382

387,376

 


CAN

CPC

74,253

11,890

 

REPORT FROM THE FIELD

Our field officer covering Odigbo Local Government Area reported that the residents at, Ore, Odigbo, Kajola, Ajue, Obu, turned out enmasse to perform that civic duties during presidential election. The election in the area was peaceful and orderly. He reported that the success of the election in the area was due to the efficiency of officials of INEC in the Local Government Area who arrived their respective wards, distribution centres, early ensure prompt distribution of electoral material to the adhoc staff at exactly 7.05am while accreditation of voter commenced at 8.50am.

At Ifedore Local  Government Area, the wards visited are; Igbara-Oke Ward 1, Igbara-Oke Ward 2, Ero/Ibuji Ward, Isarun/Egiri Ward, Ilara Ward 1, Ilara Ward 2, among others. The election at the area was peaceful but witness low turn-out.

At Ondo West, Ondo East and Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo Local Government Areas of Ondo State, the presidential election was free and fair while accreditation began by 8.00am in some polling booths. Voting materials also arrived earlier than the national assembly election. Security agencies were mounted in strategic locations in the Area.

In Ondo East, at Bolorunduro the headquarters of the Local Government Council, the election suffers low turn-out despite the early arrival of voting materials, voters comes out for he accreditation and went back to their houses.

At Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo, voting materials arrived as early as 7.00am. at Idi-Iroko polling booths ward 2 in Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo Local Government Area  accreditation did not start  until 12.30pm due to lack arrived of voting materials.

At Owo Local Government Area, our field officer reported that the polling unit visited are, kajola, Uso, Amurin, Agopanu, Isuada, Ipeme, Iyere, Igboroko Ward 1, Igboroko Ward 2 – unit 5, Igboroko Ward 2 – unit 3,4,5,10 and unit 11, Ehin-Ogbe Ward 1 – unit 3 and 4, Ijebu 2 Ward 5 – unit 7, Ijebu Ward 1 and 4, unit 1 among others witness low turn-out.

At Ose Local Government Area, our field officer reported that, in Ifon, Molege, Ute, Okeluse, Ijagba, Imoru Arimogija, Idoani, Umeri, Idogun among others the turn-out was rather extremely low.

At Idanre Local Government Area of Ondo State, the turn out of voter for he presidential election was very low in all the ten (10) wards of the Area. Despite the early distribution of election materials  to all the units as early as 7.30am people were seen going about their normal duties as road side shops opened to attend to their customers.

At Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State. It was observed that at Iju, Itaogbolu, Oba-Ile, Mafon, Igbatoro, Kajola, Olokuta, Olobi, Ogbese, Bolorunduro, ALayere, Ilu-Abo, Igoba, Igunsin, Owode, Eleyowo Ileyo among others, turn out of voters was very low at the various polling units moreover accreditation started in virtually all the units at 8.00am

AT Akure South Local Government Area, despite that Akure is the State Capital of Ondo State; the voters turnout was very low to that of previous National Assembly Election. It was observed at Oba Adesida Road, CSS Bookshop code 001, polling unit Olukayode polling unit, Laco House polling unit, CBN polling unit, Alagbaka Primary School polling unit, Sijuwade polling unit, Cooperative College polling unit, ventnery polling unit, High Court polling unit, Oke-Emeso polling unit, Oke Lisa polling unit among others all in ward 5, in Akure South Local Government witness low turn out, but witnessed calm and peaceful election. At Obanla Omolere Nursery and Primary School, Ijapo Estate, Mobil Petrol Station and Ago Ireti all, in Akure South Local Government witness an impressive turn out of voters.

Although the turn out of the registered voters was impressive the figure according to the INEC officers at the polling units, was lower than the numbers of people that participated in the   previous National Assembly Election. As early as 7.00am voters had been coming out for accreditation. INEC officials were already at the polling units with all necessary materials but did not start the accreditation until 8.00am, but voters waited patiently to pass through the necessary processes at the end of voting the results were pasted at the polling booths.

At Irele Local Government Area, Ese-Odo Local Government Area, Ilaje Local Government Area and Okitipupa Local Government Area all in South Senatorial District of Ondo State, witness very low turn-out compared to that of the National Assembly Election. Though, electoral materials arrived all the polling units visited by the field officers as early as 7.30am and the whole environment was peaceful all round but the turn out was not impressive.

At the end of the election all the result from 18 Local Government Areas was flown to State INEC Office at Akure for proper collation at the end the over raw result was pasted at the gate of State INEC Office.

 

Joel Samuel Feyisola

Director Sunshine Progressive Youth Alliance

Ondo State.

08039147368

KADUNA STATE AND APRIL 16TH PRESIDENTIAL POLLS

“Happy Survival” has unfortunately become a form of salutation in Kaduna following the spate of violent riots that engulfed the state in the past week. It is used to congratulate anyone who survived the fracas and wish them well- a prayer of sorts against future occurrences. It was used a while back after the religious riots that plagued Kaduna in 2000 and 2002.

The ugly head of unrest and religious intolerance has raised itself again with the excuse of political misconduct and maltreatment. Everyone thought Nigeria had gone beyond the infancy of using violence to express dissatisfaction and the victimization of innocent citizens as unwilling martyrs of selfish causes and ambition-kind of like a tantrum that has cost us much more than we ever bargained for or can ever compensate for.