Former President Goodluck Jonathan said on Wednesday the electronic transmission of elections results would help the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free and fair elections in 2023.
Jonathan, who stated this in his keynote address at the National Defence College Course 30 Inauguration Lecture in Abuja, warned the National Assembly not to frustrate the commission in its quest to ensure credible conduct of the 2023 elections.
He said: “I have always made the case that electronic voting is the way to go, if we truly desire to secure the credibility and integrity of our elections.
“It is difficult, therefore, to understand why the argument against the possibility of electronic transmission of election results continues to subsist, despite all the advancements made in information and communication technology, over the years.
“I want to appeal to members of the National Assembly to always ensure that they do not embark on measures that could hinder the progress and independence of INEC.
“ If they have to amend the electoral law, they should do so in a manner that would enhance INEC’s processes in its performance of its duties, especially through the adoption of innovations in ICT to aid its operations.
“Since the beginning of the Fourth Republic, our nation has made incremental progress towards deepening the roots of the nation’s democracy. The fact that questions are today being asked by the people on the direction of that progress means that Nigerians appreciate democracy but expect us to do more to make it work better for our people and the country.
“From my experience in leading election observation missions to many countries, people hardly go to court to contest election results in countries where the processes are credible and transparent because of the level of confidence in the system.
“It is not exactly the same here. In Nigeria, the system is such that as politicians prepare for elections, they also prepare for litigation. I recall that as a Vice President, then at one international engagement, I asked my counterpart, the Deputy President of South Africa about his country’s experience with post-election court actions, and he expressed surprise that people go to court after elections.
“Everybody should be involved in securing the country. Yes, the government will do its part but we as individuals should also do our own part.
“My humble suggestion is that government and stakeholders should do a lot of dialogue. When you start talking, it reduces the anger in people.
“In many circumstances, the fear factor in human survival, prosperity and security requires that more should be done to restore hope in the people and in their economic wellbeing.”
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