- The Kaduna state government has come under fire for its recent action
- The government deployed the use of electronic voting for the state's local government election
- A civil society group is of the opinion that the exercise was not as successful as claimed by the government
The Citizens Center for Democratic Governance has questioned the acclaimed success recorded by the Kaduna state government in its deployment of electronic voting for the state's recently held local government elections.
The group in a statement sent to Legit.ng and signed by its national coordinator, Osagbemi Anthony, stated that the Kaduna state government has started to give credence to their actions “via sponsored media outings to advice that Nigeria can adopt electronic voting for 2019 general elections.”
Anthony said there are several questions to ask, before agitating for a national replication of this seeming unsuccessful venture.
The statement reads partly, “These questions are: Has the e-voting machine addressed allegations that surrounds issues related to falsification of election results? Secondly, does the e-voting machine aid faster collation and declaration of results? And lastly, does it deal with the integrity question associated with elections in Nigeria?
“Without accurate answers, we might be heading for rocky waters if we adopt the machines for the 2019 general elections.”
He stated that besides, the election was perverted by several forms of irregularities ranging from the delay in collating and releasing election results which lasted about four days in the case of Sanga local government area.
Others he said, included suspension of elections in some areas were opposition were alleged to be leading, notably Kajuri and Kaduna south were results came inconclusive; disappearances of returning officers; change of figures, leading to imposition of results, and the general question of integrity that followed the election.
He urged INEC to be very careful in its introduction of technology towards future elections in Nigeria. According to him, the case of Kenya and the United States of America comes handy as countries that have had it rough with e-election.
He stated further, “Even if it ever happens, it cannot be for 2019. We go with the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who has assured Nigerians that though technology has come to stay, INEC will only adopt it incrementally and gradually as efficiency permits.
“We call on Nigerians from all works of life to understand that conducting e-voting without e-collation to fast track and lay to rest the issue of delay and manipulation in election results, is like a travel on a spot.
“We cannot risk the consequences of a hurriedly planned unknown venture. Nigerians might want to start considering something better for 2023 general elections.
“We call on civil society organizations, faith based associations, and tribal groups to kick against any of such rise or agitation and unproductive venture that will lead to a waste of our collective resource, produce no result and endanger our democracy at last.”
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Meanwhile, an election observer group, the Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG) has faulted the failure of political parties in the country to participate in the process of cleaning up of voters register since 2011.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, ISDMG executive director, Dr Chima Amadi, said following an FOI inquiry to INEC, it discovered that even though the commission has been complying with the provision of the Electoral Act and making voters register available to political parties, none of the political parties or individuals have bothered to verify it.
According to him, the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) in Section 10 (3) provided that the commission shall, within 60 days after each year, make available to every political party the names and addresses of each person registered during the year.
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