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Opinion

#EkitiDecides: A Lodge Experience of Electioneering Process In Ekiti State

Observer’s Diary

 

I never imagined I could be among a few of the brilliant, beautiful, and handsome young vibrant election observers to be facilitated by the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) and International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR). 

 

But like the saying goes “Man proposes God disposes.” – Months to the release of the accredited observers on the WhatsApp group, my heart was filled with a series of rhetorical questions (purpose of observation, security challenges, and Stress ahead). To find the answer to the question, Adeniyi Nicholas, the immediate president of the Association of Campus Journalists embraced all with a smile and raised my courage.

 

The journey kick-started with days of virtual training hosted by Adeniyi Nicholas and facilitated by campus reporter alumni to engage all observers with the pros and cons of the electioneering process.

 

On Wednesday and Thursday, the 14th and 15th of June respectively, the Centre for Journalism and Investigative Development (CJID) engaged about 50 election observers, in preparation for the June 18 election in Ekiti State.  

 

On the first day of the virtual training, Mr Oluwagbenga Adanikan held his first session “Fact-Checking Election.” The lecture enhanced my knowledge of the previous training I had with PTCIJ (Verification and Removing Fact From Fiction).

 

Mrs Busola Ajibola continued the wheel with a loving and captivating smile to elaborate on “Observing through the lens of inclusivity,” Rudiments and ethics of journalism and lastly Multimedia in Journalism by Mr Mboho.

 

On the 15th of June the second day of “Security on election Observation” by Mr Mboho while Mr Olugbanga Adanikin’s” cure my wound with the topic “Security in election observation”, Mr Mboho ” Rule of election and observation covid19 edition.” The virtual training was full of fun and inspired my knowledge with credible answers to my rhetorical questions.

 

On the 16th of June, I left Usi Ekiti, a local government in Ekiti State for our physical training at Ado-Ekiti – a journey of 42km less than an hour drive with a hectic fad from Ifaki to Ido Ekiti (uncompleted project from Eng. Segun Oni now abandoned by the incumbent governor Dr Kayode Fayemi) as the road chameleon my feeling while my thought raised why Prosperous Hotel?  Happy to arrive at the hotel I thought I wouldn’t enter again due to my previous lodge experience. 

 

The tone of joy in my heart immediately after I saw my colleagues and networking begin with the gist and spotlight of the series event each participated year back. At the late hour of nine I got the local government I will be observing “why my local government” the question sounds in my heart like a roar of a lion.

 

On 17th June at 2:43 pm arriving at my local government with a series of explorations of the INEC office, local government secretariat, and police station for three hours and was graced with heavy rain.

 

On the 18th of June, I and my colleague mounted bikes to kickstart our duty. Arriving at Ifaki Ekiti the hometown of Standard Democratic party flag bearer Eng. Segun Oni with a round look at his residence before accreditation of voter. 

 

However, my attention was drawn to 80% of voters are between the range of 30-80years of age, high turnout compared to the 2018 election, Infringement of covid 19 measure, Introduction of BVAS, and Vote buying. 

 

Culture is wildly embraced in the Ifaki community, at polling unit 008 Ifaki Ward1 behind the palace three gunshots were used to indicate the king is awake, although this led to disorderliness it shows the power of culture. Moving to Ayee Ekiti a town before Ifaki at the point of sorting the vote I was bullied and victimized by military personnel do use my gadget to record video and pictures but I outsmarted them by using Video and picture vault to hide all and I continue my observation. 

 

Observations is a privilege to share network, within the space of the Ekiti election I met Mr, Kunle from The cable, Mary from YIAGA and a team of International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR)which we both work together at Ifaki. In conclusion maximum credit to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), it’s important to know that INEC can never stop vote-buying, voters should vote for a better tomorrow.


DISCLAIMER: This story has been published on Campus Reporter with very minimal editing to preserve the original voice of the author.

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