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Southern, M’Belt group tasks Senate on credible polls

By Kehinde Olatunji
24 September 2021   |   3:57 am
The Southern and Middle Belt Alliance (SaMBA) has advised the Senate to redeem its image through the Conference Committee on the amendment of the Electoral Act set up by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday.

Lawan. Photo: TWITTER/DRAHMADLWAN/TOPEBROWN

The Southern and Middle Belt Alliance (SaMBA) has advised the Senate to redeem its image through the Conference Committee on the amendment of the Electoral Act set up by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday.

SaMBA, in a statement, yesterday, signed by its Spokesman, Rwang Pam (Jr.), insisted that electronic transmission of election results is the way to go, if Nigeria is serious about enduring democracy.

It also warned the Senate not to subject powers of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to the approval of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The seven-man committee set up by the Senate should proactively adopt the House of Representatives’ version of Section 52 (3) of the bill, it added.

According to SaMBA, setting up of the committee is a golden opportunity for the Senate to redeem its battered image, as a result of its prior decision to subject INEC power of transmission of elections results through electronic means to the approval of NCC.

To fix the Senate’s prior decision to subject INEC’s most important function to the approval of NCC, SaMBA recommended that the transmission of election results via electronic means should be part of INEC’s core functions, as it minimises the plausibility of interference.

“The transmission of election results by electronic means is the pathway to a trusted, valid, free and fair elections. If the Senate truly believed in trusted, free and fair elections, then the use of electronic means to transmit election results must be included in the Electoral Act.

“We expect the senators in the conference committee to adopt Section 52 (3) House of Representatives version of the amendment bill, which stipulated that, ‘The Commission may transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable.”

Adopting the House of Representatives version of the amendment bill will give credibility to our elections, which, in turn, will earn the country a respectable position in the comity of nations,” the group insisted.

However, it warned that failure to embrace the electronic transfer of election results would make Nigeria, especially the National Assembly, a laughingstock.

“We, therefore, emphasize that the transmission of election results through electronic means is the pathway to trusted, valid, free and fair elections in Nigeria.”

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