Ahmad Lawan, Nigeria’s senate president has stated that the upper legislative chamber attached conditions to the electronic transmission of election results because only 50 percent of the country’s polling units could use technology to transmit results.
According to Lawan, the senate’s stance was based on information provided by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Recall that the senate while passing the electoral act amendment bill on Thursday provided that the NCC must certify that national coverage is adequate and secure, while the national assembly must approve before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) can transmit election results electronically.
The senate had a 52-28 vote using the “division” method which is provided for in order 73 of the senate rule book.
Speaking with journalists on Sunday in Yobe, the senate president said the country has not reached the stage where it can deploy technology in every polling unit but agreed that it will make the process credible.
“All of us in the senate, 109 of us, believe that at one point, our electoral process must deploy electronic transmission so that it eases and enhances the electoral process and gives it more credibility and integrity,” he said.
“And no matter what anybody may say, you cannot have about 50 percent of Nigerian voters not participating or not getting their votes counted in elections and say it doesn’t matter, that we have to start the electronic transmission.
“We know the evils of not transmitting results electronically but compare the evils of electronically transmitting just half of the electoral votes from Nigerians and say you have elected a president with 50 percent only.
“What I mean here is that you have senators from the northern part of Nigeria who voted for electronic transmission. Maybe that is their belief or their environment is ready for electronic transmission.
“And you have senators from the southern part of Nigeria who voted against immediate deployment of electronic transmission but they support that the electronic transmission of results should be allowed after certain conditions are met and the conditions are simple.
“The NCC had provided the technical information that only NCC could give – that only about 50 percent of the Nigerian environment, the polling units, in the country could possibly have their results electronically transmitted.”
Lawan said senators who voted against the immediate use of electronic transmission are not against the use of technology
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