Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday, decried National Assembly members for rejecting electronic-transmission of elections results in the Electoral Act.
Okowa raised the concern when the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Monday Udoh-Tom, and his team, undertook a Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) advocacy tour of the state.
He argued that Nigerians could interpret the lawmakers’ action to mean that they were planning to rig future elections, as most members of the Senate and House of Representatives voted against the clause.
The governor, however, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its efforts at ensuring credibility of the electoral process and for declaring that it had capacity to transmit results electronically.
He warned that rejection of electronic transmission of election results could hamper the country’s effort at attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs).
“We must truly appreciate INEC for the fact that on a daily basis, the commission is thinking of the best ways to move the country’s electoral system forward to minimise or even eliminate all possibilities of fraud.
“Once Nigerians trust the electoral process, they will register and vote during elections. We need to change the narrative of most Nigerians that whether they vote or not, results will still be announced to suit the wishes of those in power,” he said.
Okowa said that he would make a broadcast to sensitise the people, various groups, religious leaders and traditional rulers in the state on the ongoing registration exercise.
He said the state would continue to carry out voter education and urged all government agencies and officials to mobilise their people for the exercise.
Expressing concern that the exercise was beginning at the councils level, he advocated that INEC should move from ward to ward to ensure effective registration of the citizens.
Speaking, Udoh-Tom commended Okowa for ensuring security of INEC staff members and assets during the attacks on government institutions by unknown gunmen, adding that from July 26, 2021, INEC would deploy physical registration for those who could not register online.
“INEC is leveraging on political office holders in the executive and legislature to significantly increase the mileage and add value in mobilising the masses to register, which will ultimately improve the voter strength in the state,” he stated.