- Goodluck Jonathan has advocated electronic voting as the best way to avoid rigging during elections
- The former Nigerian president said that the results of polls should be determined by only the ballot boxes, not the court
- Jonathan opined that despite hacking and fears of cyber-crime, electronic voting is still the only way forward both in Nigeria and in Africa
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Former Nigerian president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has given his view as to how rigging, manipulation, and all forms of electoral malpractices can be avoided in the country.
Jonathan opined that the best and only way for electoral crimes to be avoided not just in Nigeria but across Africa is through electronic voting.
The former Nigerian leader made this rather controversial submission during the Osasu Show Symposium 2020.
Jonathan said that mere election does not necessarily amount to democracy and that the results of polls should not be determined by the tribunal but strictly by ballots.
He stated: “Regular elections, fine, but elections per se is not democracy. If the votes of the citizens don’t count, then it is as good as a military dictatorship. So from me, the reforms first get to us making the vote counts."
Jonathan admitted that although there are fears that electronic means can be manipulated through hacking, it remains the best way forward.
Stressing his point, he posited: “People may feel, yes someone could manipulate, smart boys who can hack into the system and do all kinds of things, yes, but still people still use electronic system to move hundreds of millions of dollars across the world. So I still believe very sincerely that that is the way to go.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared that it would work towards the full introduction of electronic voting in major elections, starting from 2021.
The INEC said this in its new policy on conducting elections released amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
There had been calls for electronic voting over the years but some concerns, including the fear of cybercrime, hampered the process.
An electoral act amendment bill seeking to make e-voting compulsory in elections, however, passed second reading at the Senate in November 2019.
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