THE Nigeria Diaspora Network (NDN) has commended the Senate for backing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the inclusion of electronic transmission of election results in the 2021 Electoral Bill.
During Tuesday’s plenary, the Senate expunged the controversial Clause 52(3) of the bill that subjected transmission of poll results by INEC to the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC)’s confirmation on adequate network and security of national network coverage.
Co-coordinator of the United Kingdom (UK) Chapter of the NDN Aminu Ahmadu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday that the move was a step in the right direction as the electronic transmission of election results is the pathway to conducting credible elections in the country.
“Just like any other change, it comes with its challenges but let us all learns the process together and move Nigeria forward,” he said.
The group also expressed optimism that the introduction of electronic transmission of results into the election process would pave the way for electronic voting that would guarantee the rights of diaspora Nigerians to vote for increased participation.
Some governors in the South have also hailed the Senate for endorsing e-transmission of election results, saying it would curb electoral fraud and the resultant litigations.
However, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike cautioned the National Assembly not to decide for political parties the method to be adopted in the conduct of their primary election as been recommended in some clauses in the Electoral Act Repeal Re-Enactment bill.
“Now that the result will be transmitted electronically, no way for rigging. Only those who support rigging are against results to be transmitted electronically,” he said.
His Delta State counterpart Ifeanyi Okowa averred that part of the challenges facing the country today stems from a lack of faith in the electoral process, which has enormous implications on socio-economic activities in the country, including foreign direct investments.
“Once we can get the people to have faith in our electoral process where the people can truly decide who leads them, part of our problems would have been solved,” the governor said.
Lending his voice to the development, a famous Islamic cleric and former military officer, Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, believes that digitalising the electoral process would end he described as “money politics, mediocrity, and political blackmailing” by ensuring that every vote genuinely counts.
“This is a big plus for our Senate and the democracy that gives Nigerians free will to choose and repel leaders they so wish. INEC has to immediately, with the collaboration of NGOs, embark on a voter’s awareness campaign, which should include the rural areas.
“With satellite internet technology perfected and available, no inch of Nigeria soil should be out of reach of the election,” he added.