BENIN CITY— Ahead of the Saturday Presidential and National Assembly Election holding as well as the April 11 Governorship and State Assembly elections,  Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Edo State have established a situation Room where an all round situation that may arise in all parts of the state would be reported, analysed and disseminated.
A press release jointly issued by President of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organisations (CONGOs), Edo State and Communications Manager, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Majirioghene Bob Etemiku, said the situation room is located at ANEEJ Secretariat, 39, Oyaide Avenue, GRA Benin City.
The Situation Room, which will be linked with both local, international and social media will have a number of Volunteers drawn from several professional bodies, Trade groups, NPOs, CSOs, NGOs, CBOs, FBOs and other interest. It will also attract both local, international observation  and media experts.
While reacting to comments made by  the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega at a press briefing of election Monitors and Observers in Abuja  recently to the effect  that “only its officials have the exclusive preserve to monitor the elections of March 28 and April 11 2015 and that  election monitors are expected to be fully trained people and are not expected to base their reports on hearsay” Civil Society Groups noted  that any political process where the people are not involved cannot be credible, free and fair.
The statements reads in part: “Any democratic process that relies only on the mouthpiece of government to decide the political destiny of over 160 million people is doomed to fail from the onset. In advanced societies, media organizations, trade and professional bodies are known to set up Situation Rooms where elections are monitored, discussed and analysed. That is why we would like to inform the press that in spite of the comments of the INEC Chairman, that the plan to have an election monitoring team on ground is to complement INEC monitoring and observer activities so as to ensure that the March 28 and April 11 Elections are credible, free, fair and devoid of violence.
“We believe that we are conversant with the Nigerian terrain as much as INEC and our capability to use trained and qualified personnel is not in doubt. Already, we have deployed well over 300 Civil Society personnel and other non-state actors within our vast network of personnel, and who have varying degrees of competencies, networks and contacts.” the statement said.
They emphasised that the secretariat will be providing all contacts deployed within the electoral terrain with two hotlines with which they can call in and report the elections to the Situation Room. We will  cross- check our facts and figures with that of INEC so as to ensure they are harmonized and present a credible 2015 polls.
“The Situation Room will be opened as follows: Presidential and NASS Elections:    2pm Friday 27th March 2015 to Tuesday 30th March 2015.
For the Governorship and State House of Assembly Elections:  2pm Friday 10th March 2015 to Monday 13th March 2015
The Hotlines for phone calls provided by the CSOs are: 09022892143, 07051271348
Pictures and Videos are to be uploaded to: Facebook: Nigeria2015electionupdates.” CSOs said in the statement.