The Special Adviser to the Bayelsa State Governor on Political Matters, High Chief Collins Cocodia, has lent his voice to the clamour for electronic voting, pointing out that election results should be transmitted directly from the polling units to the servers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
High Chief Cocodia, who stated this while speaking with journalists in Yenagoa, condemned the attempt by the National Assembly to pass the Electoral Act as Amended without allowing for such a provision.
He described the move as undemocratic and callous, saying it was a deliberate attempt by the political elites to sabotage free and fair elections in the country.
He added that it was a means for politicians in the country who are bent on winning elections through malpractice, to thrive in their schemes, noting that it is destined to cause more harm to the country’s already fragile democracy.
Cocodia stated that other nations are taking critical steps to protect their democracy by adopting electronic voting, therefore politicians in the country should make efforts to do the same.
He stressed that if the National Assembly does not make provision for the immediate transfer of results, the elections in 2023 will be devoid of peace and transparency.
He added that the passing of the Electoral Act should transcend to the States Electoral Commission such that no politician can influence election results.
Concordia said electronic voting is the in-thing across the world and wonder why the reverse is the situation in Nigeria.
He said: “It is disturbing to hear that they want to remove the transmission of election results from the polling units.
“If that happens, then we are going into an era of violence, massive rigging and violation of all electoral laws. So I think its just going to take the country backwards.
“I am a politician, but I want the right things to be done, that’s why I have been clamoring for the total embrace of electronic voting. I thought by now the APC-led Federal Government will be working towards achieving that.
“But you and I know that if that comes to play, it means that most of the persons at the red and green chambers will not have the opportunity to return, and they are scared of that, especially when they know they haven’t delivered the goods to their people, and they know they will be rejected through the ballot, when they seek re-election.
“So far we made progress in Edo and Ondo where results were transmitted and it went well. So if it went well in areas it was tried and Nigerians applauded it, I see no reason why some persons in the current National Assembly are trying to remove what will make our electoral act to be solid.
“You know the APC-led federal government don’t care about the masses, whatever they want to do they do it, even if it will spark outrage amongst Nigerians. We take a step forward and twenty steps backwards”.
The governor’s aide urged the government to strengthen INEC to enable them carry out their duties without fear or intimidation.
He also used the programme to beckon on Bayelsans to take advantage of the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration and ensure they get registered.