Election law amendment: NASS ‘unfinished business

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By John Ekundaya

The issue of changing the electoral law is still generating heat, no, thanks to the upside-down manner in which both the green and red chambers were quick and furious to pass the 2021 electoral law before moving into the Sallah- Take a break. Many, if not most, Nigerians were stunned by the seemingly short-sighted, manipulative, and meandering manner in which the supposedly pre-eminent men and women of the National Assembly (NASS) displayed deceitful skill to convince voters, willy-nilly, that they were them protect against disenfranchisement. The main argument used by lawmakers against the full introduction of electronic voting and voting results is the need to ensure that their supporters’ votes count. Are you halfway smart or thrifty with the truth?

Want to pull over the eyes of the followers?

In today’s digital age, it is instructive to tell our government officials and political officials that the Internet does not forget! In fact, everything they said and done is in the archives that will be opened on another day. This column welcomes a newspaper publication showing the faces and identities of those who voted against Article 52 (2) of the Electoral Law and allowing the results to be submitted electronically. In addition, it should be remembered that the website of the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) expressly states that as of September 2019, quoting from the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025, p. 33: “Spread of 3G / LTE” had reached 74.2 percent in Nigeria. ”In addition, a review of one of the MTN cellular network websites reveals that network coverage in Nigeria is now 89.9 percent, while other networks vary in penetration from state to state. In essence, this presentation by the NCC to the Senate, which was supposed to guide the Red Chamber in its decision, was falsified in color and content and fraudulent.

Fifth columnists and undemocratic forces on the hunt?

At this point it is appropriate and important to ask: Are there actually fifth columnists and undemocratic forces, as claimed by the opposition, in both chambers, who are working in concert to shorten the electoral process so that the 2023 elections are not free, fair and? believable, forgetting that INEC’s insistence on the use of the card reader – a technology that authenticates voters’ identities prior to voting in the elections – added credibility to the 2015 elections that put many of them in their positions as lawmakers brought? Kudos to former INEC Chairman Professor Attahiru Jega for setting foot on the ground no matter whose ox was impaled to ensure the card reader is used to improve the validity and accuracy of the electoral process. The stance and commitment of the green and red chambers in drafting the 2021 electoral law is nothing special if Nigerians were to restore confidence in the electoral process when the 2023 elections came up. It is worth remembering that in the last election in 2019, less than 35% of registered voters took part in the vote. As a researcher, this columnist can cognitively determine that some of the likely reasons that most Nigerians will not vote or take part in the vote are: fear that their votes will not count; withstand and survive the rigors of our electoral process; and an archaic system ravaged by brawls, vandalism, violence, polling, etc. Introducing electronic voting and sending polling station results would have been like killing many birds with one stone. Will the 9th National Assembly hastily sink the system, shortening the path to credible elections in 2023? Nigerians watch with keen eyes!

Senate and House of Representatives: Unity Required!

It is obvious that the air needs to be cleared in the harmonized way, as Nigerians hear differently in both the red and green chambers. The sound coming from the two chambers is confusing and confusing. Therefore, an agreement must be reached before the bill is sent to President Muhammadu Buhari for approval. When tinkering with the green chamber stand, one would have thought that the elders would have the wisdom of the draft law for the 2021 election law. Unfortunately, the House of Lords made matters worse by undermining the independence of the INEC electoral arbitrator by submitting and submitting the elective arbitrator to the NCC and NASS doctor! Senators should know by this point that we need to build more pluralistic and independent economic and political institutions if we don’t want our country to falter and fail. This is the way of the developed nations! It is high time that our political leaders, regardless of party affiliation, choose the path of honor by looking at the country first and not being childish, narrow-minded, pedestrian and partisan! The voting pattern of the Red Chamber confirms and is based on it! The Green Chamber, the House of Representatives, fared better, if not free from chastisements, by giving the INEC electoral arbitrator the power to decide where it was practicable when transmitting results electronically. In essence, both chambers should consider and refine the feedback from supporters within their constituents before sending the 2021 electoral law to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for approval.

INEC: “We have the capacity to transmit results electronically”

In the midst of this battle of misinformation by the NCC, which the NASS brought to the point, the electoral referee INEC stated without further ado that they are ready for the electronic voting and transmission because they have the necessary tools. INEC confirmed and confirmed their stance and commitment, stating that the previous elections in Edo State were conducted using electronic delivery of results from even the most remote areas. It is the point of view and interest of this column that any interference and interference by government agencies and NASS in the electoral process is an invitation to chaos, given the fact that most election errors and misconduct at counting and rallying points in past elections This will vilify and humiliate the sanctity of the election as expressed by the voters in the polling stations. To counter this ugly trend, INEC has introduced a special portal line called the “INEC result display”, This portal seamlessly enabled supporters to see the results pouring in from the electoral units in the gubernatorial elections in Edo state. This has been widely praised. In the future, INEC should improve this in subsequent elections before the naysayers are thrown overboard in 2023! In the words of INEC’s National Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Dr. Festus Okoye, was monitored on the station’s television recently he said hey among other things: “We have uploaded results from very remote areas, even from areas where you have to use human carriers to access them… So we made our own position very clear that we have the capacity and the will to deepen the use deep technology in the electoral process. ” What else do our esteemed representatives want to hear other than that there is a secret and covert agenda, possibly based on partisan and financial positions, as their voting pattern indicated at the House of Lords plenary session?

graduation

With elections approaching in 2023, one great legacy the Buhari government can bequeath to the next generation is the improvement of the electoral process through the use of electronic voting and transmission. Baba Buhari, as the father of this house called Nigeria, should remember that he suffered three times through the process of the archaic and atavistic electoral system. However, this current administration should set a new record of many supporters to vote in a way that has never been seen in Nigerian history. Introducing e-voting and broadcasting would ensure and improve this as many followers would know from the beginning that their votes would count and that the process will be fair and in accordance with the will of the people. After that, this columnist makes a clear text like I did on that TVC breakfast show recently. The clear text is aimed at civil society organizations (CSOs), NLC, TUC, ASSU, NBA, NMA, NANS and supporters in all counties of the Federation to peacefully and proactively engage their NASS members until they do what is necessary in the 2021 Electoral Act. Last but not least, the INEC electoral referee should not give in. Especially at this time when the NASS members enjoy their vacation, this is the opportunity to demonstrate their competence, performance and ability with a loud voice and vehemence. INEC can do this through press conferences and other public education, awareness and advocacy programs that encourage supporters (constituencies) to be willing to hold elections through e-voting and broadcast.


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