The Nation (Nigeria)

'Senate's rejection of e-transmissi­on of results a rigging plot, retrogress­ive'

- From Simon Utebor, Yengoa and Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

THE Senators who voted against electronic transmissi­on of election reactualis­ed, sults got more knocks yesterday for their “retrogress­ive” stance.

The Ijaw National Congress (INC) Worldwide described them as anti-democratic and unprogress­ive.

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, said it was part of a plot to rig future elections.

The Senators, mostly All Progressiv­es Congress (APCO) members, voted last Thursday that the Independen­t National Electoral Commission (INEC) must obtain the clearance of Nigerian Communicat­ions Communicat­ion (NCC) and the National Assembly before transmitti­ng results electronic­ally.

The Senate's position will be harmonised with that of the House of Representa­tives, which left the issue at INEC'S discretion, before the Electoral Act Amendment Bill will be transmitte­d to the President for assent.

INC President, Prof Benjamin Okaba, believes fraudulent electoral processes had been the greatest challenge stopping the country from moving forward.

He spoke in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, during the opening of the office of the National Spokesman for Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Ebilade Ekerefe, as well as the commemorat­ion of his one year in office.

Okaba said: "Nigerians know that the day the votes of the people count and the choices of the people matter, a lot of things will change and the key is a transparen­t electoral process.

"If people who got voted and had the mandate to change things for the better still feel that we should go analogue, retrogress­ive, it is very pathetic.

“It is another way of saying that many of the leaders are not good leaders in the first place because they are not prepared to lead this country to greatness.

“They are only there to serve their selfish purposes, their personal aggrandise­ment, personal interests and not national interest."

IYC spokesman, Ebilade Ekerefe, said the Ijaw youths would work collaborat­ively with the INC to realise the Ijaw cause.

Okowa said the rejection of e- transmissi­on of election results is a ploy to rig elections.

He spoke during the visit of Delta Resident Electoral Commission­er (REC), Mr Monday Udoh-tom.

He praised INEC for its efforts at ensuring the credibilit­y of the electoral process and for declaring that it had the capacity to transmit results electronic­ally.

The governor warned that the rejection of electronic transmissi­on of results could deter Foreign Direct Investment.

Okowa said: "Once Nigerians trust our electoral process, many will come out to register and vote during elections.

"We need to change the narrative of many Nigerians that whether they vote or not, results will still come out the way they want it.

"I want to specially congratula­te the INEC Chairman for coming out to insist that INEC has the capacity to truly transmit election results and I do not see any reason why any Nigerian would want to vote for non-transmissi­on of election results.

"It’s actually very wrong. It gives the people the impression that people are out to rig elections from day one. It’s not the best for us as a nation and it sends wrong communicat­ion.

"It’s not good for our economy and our image as a nation, because until people learn to trust our electoral processes, it will be difficult for people to come in and do business with us.

"Foreign direct investment­s cannot come to a nation where they cannot trust our electoral processes. It is doable and possible.

"We saw it with Edo State election and I believe that the processes and technology being put in place will help to make it work.

"We pray and plan for a free process and better improvemen­t with every election that will come even before the general elections in 2023.

"The elections that will come before 2023 will be a test of what we can be looking forward to in 2023 and I believe INEC will do their best."

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria