The Convener of the New Nigeria Group (NNG), Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, has advocated the adoption of electronic voting in future elections in Nigeria, to guarantee a fool-proof voting system. Ohuabunwa, who aspires to contest the presidential election in 2023, said the technology-driven voting template will protect the integrity and credibility of the electoral process in Nigeria.
Nigeria has been fiddling with the idea of adopting electronic voting and transmission of results in emulation of countries where it has helped to eliminate electoral fraud. But recently in the National Assembly, the idea failed to sail through after majority of senators voted against it as not workable in Nigeria.
However, Ohuabunwa, according to a statement by his media adviser Sir Ernie Onwumere, insisted that electronic voting and transmission of results are achievable in Nigeria.
He cited an instance in Nigeria where it has worked, though on a pilot scale.
“For example,” he said, “Kaduna State conducted elections with an electronic voting system in 2018. That was the first time anyone in Nigeria would adopt electronic voting, and the second case of electronic voting in Africa, after Namibia.
“That year, the then extant law namely the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission Act No. 10 of 2012 was amended to establish electronic voting in Section 16 (3) thereof. There were allegations of multiple voting and other challenges. But that did not deter the government.
“The latest was the September 4, 2021 local government elections held in Kaduna State, where electronic voting was adopted. It might not have been adjudged perfect, but it was by far better than situations where figures were brazenly manually manipulated.” Ohuabunwa thus commended Governor Nasir El-Rufai for allowing the system to work in Kaduna State without his interference, noting that the All Progressives Congress (APC) lost the election in El-Rufia’s polling unit.
Emphasizing that it would be a Herculean task for desperate politicians to compromise the electronic voting system, Ohuabunwa also disclosed that he had actually advocated e-voting in 2010 in his book titled “Nigeria: Need for Evolution of a New Nation”. Thus implying that he is not just jumping on the current bandwagon of electronic voting proponents, the NNG Convener made reference to page 86 of his aforementioned book. On the referenced page, he had reasoned that the adoption of electronic voting system would help eliminate the need for ballot boxes, curb multiple voting, and reduce costly logistic and manpower burdens during elections.
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