The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that it may consider adopting electronic voting in future elections in the country if it was the only option that could sanitise the electoral system and guarantee free and fair elections.
INEC resident electoral commissioner in Cross Rivers State, Micheal Igini, stated this while answering questions at the third annual symposium/public lecture organised by the United Action for Change (UAC) with the theme: ‘Democracy Without Internal Party Democracy: A Myth’, which was held at the Lagos Airport hotels Ikeja, noting that the commission would study the system and also consider strategies for its effective utilisation.
He stressed that the commission was aware of agitations by Nigerians for the introduction of electronic voting, but added that it was being hampered by logistic and infrastructure which had limited its operations.
“We are aware of agitations for electronic voting by some Nigerians, but it is something we are looking into for future elections. Right now we are making progress with the card reader, we can now transfer result with this current system and we can give result in the poling units.
“E-voting would happen in future; it is what we would consider, but we are being hampered by infrastructure and logistics”. Igini said.
The INEC commissioner said that there had been significant improvement in the electoral system since the introduction of card reader, adding that rigging and manipulation of the election result had significant be checked.
On the increasing trend of vote-buying in the country, the commissioner stated that politicians in the country had adopted another form of rigging because the card reader had been able to check rigging in recent elections, charging Nigerians not allow themselves to be used.
“Vote buying have been there over the years but it is now pronounced because we have check rigging with introduction of card reader, they are now inducing Nigerians from the pooling units, but Nigerians must not selling their conscience”
Speaking further on recent controversial local government elections in some states, he said that the commission lacked the power to supervise state’s electoral commissions, while describing recent local government elections has a rape on democracy.
“INEC lack the power to check the states electoral commissions, they only come to us to collect voters register, and refuse to use card reader for their elections, except Sokoto state. Some of the elections conducted by the state’s electoral commission is ridiculed with fraud, it is a rape on democracy”. Ogini added.