Buhari, NASS Killed INEC Freedom To Use Electronic Voting — NEF

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The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) on Monday said President Muham­madu Buhari and the National Assembly have both killed any at­tempt to give the Independent Na­tional Electoral Commission (INEC) the freedom it needs as an independent body to utilise electronic system of voting.

Director of Publicity and Advocacy of NEF, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, who made this disclosure while reacting to the meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gov­ernors also said the response of the governors came a little bit too late.

According to him, it is not the duty of the presidency or the National Assembly but INEC’s duty to decide where electronic voting can be uti­lised and where it cannot.

He said, “The statement by the PDP governors came a little bit too late and may not achieve the effect they want. Let’s remind ourselves that these governors have direct access and huge amount of influence on senators and members of the House of Rep­resentatives. They could have exercised some influence on these people to make sure that the amendment to the Elector­al Act was more emphatic in terms of the reforms than just allowing it to get to this stage.

“At this stage, unfortunate­ly, the APC administration un­der President Muhammadu Buhari and the National As­sembly have effectively stran­gulated any attempt to create and give INEC the scope and allowance it needs to fully utilise electronic voting as a primary system of voting.

“What the nation really needs to do is to trust INEC and say INEC should use the voting pattern that is con­sistent with the interest of Nigerians. To adopt multiple voting system and let INEC decide where electronic vot­ing should take place, where non-electronic voting should take place.

“The decision is not a new issue; we have been on this for a long time. In 2003, I was secre­tary of INEC and going back, we have strived to sell this idea that INEC should be made to choose the mode of election.

“If you don’t trust them, why on earth do you want them to conduct an election? But what they did this time is to create a situation where agencies of this government and the government itself will determine whether we have any form of electronic voting at all”.

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