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E-voting long overdue in Nigeria, INEC chair, Yakubu, insists

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Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has said the full deployment of technology for the improvement of Nigeria’s electoral process was long overdue. He stated this yesterday in Abuja during a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) to review the security situation in the recent Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections.

Yakubu said: “We need to continue to deepen the use of technology for the integrity of elections. The Senate Committee on INEC has already shared with the commission the Electoral Act amendment bill for our input. We are excited by some of the new provisions concerning electronic transmission of results. We are glad that the electoral legal framework is removing some of the encumbrances to the full deployment of technology for the improvement of the electoral process in Nigeria, especially result collation and management.” He explained that to make future polls in the country more technology-based, INEC would collaborate with the National Assembly for the speedy passage of the bill.

According to him, the use of technology in results collation and transmission is “long overdue, doable, achievable and inevitable.”Yakubu called for a wholesale review of the deployment of armed security agents on Election Day to check activities of thugs.“The deployment of security personnel in all future elections should be tied to specific locations and activities. All security personnel deployed to polling units and collation centres should be identified by name, as is the case with INEC officials. This will not only enhance transparency, but the commission and security agencies will know who to contact in specific locations during elections when the need arises,” he advised.

On his part, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), condemned the violence that rocked the gubernatorial contests in Bayelsa and Kogi. But the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, said the exercises were relatively peaceful in the two states except for pockets of skirmishes in some areas. He, however, admitted that there was room for improvement.

Adamu, who was represented by AIG Bahiru Makama, said 35 suspects had been arrested in Bayelsa for violating electoral laws while eight were arrested in Kogi for same offence.


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