Why nation must embrace electronic voting, by Jonathan
Erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan has submitted that for democracy to endure in Nigeria, the country must embrace electronic voting.
Deploring the military interference in this year’s general elections in Rivers State, he advised the Ninth National Assembly to review the nation’s electoral laws to correct the lapses.
Jonathan made the submission yesterday at a public lecture with the theme, “Re-imagining Nigeria: The Imperative of Democracy, Values, Peace and National Development in the New Nigeria”, and organised by the Rivers government in Port Harcourt.
He explained that if Nigerians must embrace democracy, then the processes leading to elections and the conduct proper must engender confidence in the entire system.
According to him, lack of people’s confidence in the electoral process would make it difficult for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to impress them.Jonathan, who led the African observers mission during the just concluded South African elections, suggested that the African Union must come up with minimum standards for the establishment of member states’ electoral commissions in a way that induces confidence.
He pointed out that before Nigeria and the rest of Africa embrace electronic voting, there must be some reforms to make it impossible for a single person to continue to enjoy the privilege of appointing all members of an election petition tribunal.
On the role of security agencies during polls, Jonathan counselled the continental body to come up with a code of conduct for those deployed for that purpose. He noted that the viral videos of Rivers women dragging soldiers during the 2019 elections were most saddening.
The keynote speaker and one-time Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESFG), Prof. Anya O. Anya, blamed the menace of Boko Haram, herdsmen, hordes of kidnappers and bandits on failure of past leaders to heed the advice of the late premier of the defunct Western Region, Obafemi Awolowo, to invest in free education.
Host Governor Nyesom Wike observed that Nigeria’s problems, which are largely self-inflicted, could be reduced to two – the politicisation of everything and pervasive injustice.He said insecurity continues to thrive in the country because the nation had deliberately defied the cry for justice.