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Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State
Members of the National Assembly (NASS) were on Monday urged to enact laws regarding electronic transmission of votes during elections.
Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto State, made the call at a news conference in Sokoto, stressing that the lawmakers should leave a good legacy that would strengthen the nation’s democratic processes.
He said he was speaking in his capacity as former Speaker of 7th House of Representatives and a Nigerian citizen, to add his voice based on his leadership experiences and political activities in the country.
Tambuwal expressed his belief in the national interest to bequeath to the country an Electoral Act that would contribute to free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria, irrespective of party platform.
Emphasesed he: “I am not addressing you as Vice Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum or as Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum, not even as a sitting Governor.
“It must be seen as a contribution from someone who has had varied experience as a legislator, a former Speaker, a sitting Governor and one who has been involved in leadership of political parties.
“It is a credible, free and fair election that will ensure that voters decide any electoral contest. Some have argued that internet penetration in all parts of Nigeria is not assured.
“This is exactly why the bill should give the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the prerogative on introducing electronic transmission of votes in any election.
“INEC has demonstrated and assured that it has the technology to transmit votes electronically even without the internet. Once results of elections are announced from the collation centre, any person can monitor it without any human error.
“INEC has also assured that with the new process and technology, any interested Nigerian could track or monitor the results of the election from his or her house”.
The former House of Representatives Speaker cited two serial elections exercises with emphasis on the states of Edo and Ondo polls as examples.
Noted Tambuwal: “The elections where electronic transmission of votes cast from the unit level ensured that the voters’ wishes were respected and good examples where PDP won in Edo and APC won in Ondo State.
“One must distinguish electronic transmission of votes from electronic voting, which in my view is a little bit problematic.
“International community, INEC, the entire civil societies, and almost all the political parties are in support of electronic transmission of votes”.
According to him, there have been many times where a person may be in the ruling party today and in the opposition the next day.
He noted that the situation routinely occurred where party leaders would want to frustrate the re-election of a sitting member, even in the same political party.
Remarked he: “As you decide this question, please be guided by the wishes of your constituents who should be ultimate arbiters in a democracy”.