The Social Democratic Party (SDP) on Wednesday rejected the electronic transmission of results in Nigeria.
In a statement issued in Abuja by its National Secretary, Shehu Gabam, the party said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lacks the capacity and requisite infrastructure to ensure electronic transmission of election results from collation centres.
The SDP added that epileptic supply of power and poor service by mobile network providers across the country would make electronic transmission of election results difficult in the country.
The party also listed illiteracy and lack voters’ sensitization by the government and INEC as other factors that would work against the process in the country.
“Any attempt to force the electronic transmission of results in the electoral act in the next election would plunge the country into electoral crisis,” SDP stated.
However, the party urged INEC to test-run the process through pilot schemes in selected states.
The SDP’s position differed from the views held by the majority of Nigerians who had demanded the electronic transmission of election results in the country.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors had on Monday asked the National Assembly to incorporate the electronic transmission of election results in the Electoral Act.
The governors’ demand followed the crises that trailed the handling of the matter in the Senate and House of Representatives before the parliament proceeded on the annual vacation a few days ago.
The statement read: “So far, INEC has not demonstrated that they have the capacity to do it. It is very complicated than what people think. People are ignorant about the electronic transmission of results and are sponsoring protests without understanding it. It has to do with effective service in the country.
“In the absence of energy and good service network, how are you going to transmit. If you say that you are going to transmit results from polling units, even in Abuja, it will be difficult for you to do. There is no power and service. Do they have the gadgets and equipment that can store power for 48 hours? In the absence of these, we are not sincere.
“We don’t have the capacity to do it. Even the United States that is practising it is suffering from hackers, INEC today is suffering from hackers. So, I think that INEC should keep on practising it as a pilot scheme just as they did in Edo and Ondo elections until we have the capacity.”
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