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Ndume, who spoke with The ICIR on the phone, said his people in southern Borno had no access to basic electricity and internet connection facilities. They would be disadvantaged if INEC transmitted election results electronically, he said.
The senator and 51 others on Thursday, July 15, voted against the passage of the Electoral Act 2010 Amendment Bill.
He said those who vigorously campaigning for electronic transmission of election results were mostly the media and the civil society groups resident in the cities across the southern part of Nigeria where basic amenities were present and functional.
“In most of Borno, especially in Gwoza, we go to the mountain to seek internet connection. Is that the place where you will want to transmit results of the election electronically?” he asked.
Book Haram and militants from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) consistently have been attacking electrical infrastructure in Borno State.
In March, VOA reported that the insurgent destroyed towers along Maiduguri-Damaturu road.
There were several other attacks targeted at the power grid before then.
Though the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) recently pledged to establish a gas power plant in Maiduguri to address the power supply problem, Senator Ndume believes such intervention may not solve the problem of power outage and internet service provision before the next election in 2023.
“E-Voting is vulnerable to hacking. I will not support it (electronic transmission of election),” he insisted.
The senator, who has been representing Chibok, Dambowa and Gwoza since 2003 when he was first elected in the House of Representatives, blamed INEC for proposing electronic transmission of election results that “cannot guarantee the integrity of the election.”
Senator Ndume also accused the opposition party, PDP, of planning to rig the 2023 election by campaigning for the electronic transmission, which, according to many Nigerians, would improve the integrity of the election.
The Dean, Borno Elders Forum, Prof. Khalifa Dikwa, reiterated the concern of Senator Ndume.
He said the people of Borno State would not welcome electronic transmission of election results because the exercise could be easily frustrated.
He, however, told The ICIR that government should allow states with better telecom infrastructure to adopt electronic transmission.
Professor Dikwa was referring to the Ondo and Edo elections, where the INEC successfully transmitted election results.
He also noted that the people of Borno were not averse to electronic transmission as long as the government provided the infrastructure required for such service before 2023.
He advised the lawmakers to consider the hybrid transmission of election results using both soft and hard copy transmission methods.
“Both paper and electronic transmission can go pari passu,” he concluded.