Electronic voting, panacea for rigging, thuggery – Army, civil defense
* No, Nigeria not yet ripe for electronic voting – INEC
By Steve Oko
The Nigerian Army as well as the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps has submitted that the introduction of electronic voting is the only solution to the orgy of violence, thuggery and rigging that usually characterise elections in Nigeria.
But the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in swift response, sharply disagreed with the security agencies, insisting that “Nigeria is not yet ripe for electronic voting “.
The disagreement came to the fore Monday at the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room Stakeholders Forum on the Future of Elections in Nigeria which was organised in Abuja with support of the British Department for International Development, DFID.
Stakeholders including INEC and key security agencies were brainstorming over the readiness or otherwise of Nigeria to adopt electronic voting system in the 2023 polls.
But in a sharp disagreement the the submissions of the security agencies, INEC through its National Commissioner, Prof. Okey Ibeanu, maintained that the country was not yet ripe for the use of such sophisticated technology.
INEC cited “absence of robust technical and physical infrastructure” as reason for its position.
The electoral umpire noted that “election in Nigeria is increasingly becoming more complex despite the minimal utilization of technologies in the electoral processes.”
The INEC representative further argued that “there are key factors that must be considered before e-voting could effectively take-off in Nigeria”.
He identified the factors as ” power supply and the ability of electorates to conquer their fundamental trust issues in the system by believing in the capability of the electoral body to function independently without external manipulations.”
He said :“Each time we are demanding more ‘complexification’ of our election, we should remember that our infrastructure may not be adequate to take care of the process”.
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