The former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega, has faulted the National Assembly’s decision to exclude the electronic transfer of results from the Electoral Amendment Act Amendment Bill.
Jega, who featured in a Channels Television’s programme, Sunday Politics, said the National Assembly’s decision to allow INEC to use electronic voting without the electronic transmission of results is counterproductive.
He said: “You can’t permit INEC on one hand to use electronic voting and not use electronic transmission of results because usually, they go as a package.
“Once there is a robust software and hardware for doing so, it now brings efficiency, transparency and real-time ability to see the result as they are transmitted from the polling unit to a National Collation Centre.”
The ex-INEC said some politicians in the country are uncomfortable with the electronic transmission of results.
He, however, added that not all politicians are fraudulent and want to win by hook or by crook.
On whether Nigeria is ready for a fully digitised electoral system, he added: “I will urge that we make haste slowly. There is no doubt that if electronic voting is done appropriately, it will go a long way in improving the integrity of our elections.”
The former INEC boss also faulted President Muhammadu Buhari over the controversial nomination of his aide, Lauretta Onochie, as a National Commissioner for the electoral body.
Jega warned the Senate against confirming the appointment of Onichie as she is a confirmed card carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to avoid escalating the controversy.
Jega also urged Buhari to withdraw Onochie’s nomination and replace her with another female from her state, noting that there are many other eligible women for the job.
“This kind of controversy is really avoidable. Any person who generated such a controversy; the appointing authorities should be careful because you don’t want to appoint anybody that can raise suspicions or doubts or can lead to a loss of trust of the electoral management body.
“President Buhari should have avoided such controversy in the first place. He can change that by withdrawing Onochie’s nomination and replace her with another female from her state. I believe there are others who are eminently qualified for the job,” Jega said.
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