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Commenting on the bill passed by the Senate which gave the Independent National Electoral Commission the sole power to determine the procedure for the transmission of election results, INEC insisted that it had “adequate structures and processes” to transmit results of elections in the country electronically.
It also said while it had the capacity to transmit the result of the Anambra State governorship election slated for November 6 electronically, the nation’s existing laws only allowed manual collation.
The Chief Press Secretary to the commission’s chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi who said this in an interview with The PUNCH, stated that the commission would wait till after the President had assented the amendments by the National Assembly, including electronic transmission of election results.
Oyekanmi reacting to a question on if the commission already had any arrangement in place to transmit results electronically in view of the decision of the Senate to a bill which gave INEC sole power to determine the procedure for the transmission of election results.
He was also asked if it was possible for the process to transmit results electronically starting from the Anambra election.
But Oyekanmi said the amendments being carried out would take time since it would still be transmitted to the President for assent.
He said, “The Independent National Electoral Commission has developed adequate structures and processes to successfully undertake electronic transmission of results.
Read Also: INEC Awaits Buhari’s Nod on e-transmission of Results
“We believe that the technology and national infrastructure in the country at the moment are adequate to support it.
“The commission has the capacity to transmit the Anambra governorship election results electronically, given the opportunity.
“However, let us not forget that the subsisting law stipulating manual collation of results has neither been repealed nor changed at this point.
“The amendments being undertaken at the moment would still have to be transmitted to Mr. President for his assent.”
Meanwhile, the PDP on Tuesday evening accused the All Progressives Congress-led National Assembly of dealing a huge blow to Nigeria’s democratic gains with its imposition of the direct primaries for the nomination of party candidates.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan said this in a statement titled, “Direct Primary: APC Is Rolling Back Our Democracy- PDP,” which he signed in Abuja, on Tuesday.
He said, “The PDP describes the passage by the APC-led Senate of direct primary for the nomination of candidates for election, in all political parties, as a retrogressive provision that seeks to wipe off all the gains achieved in our electoral practice since 1999.
“The party says the decision by the APC-controlled Senate is a humongous blow to the development of democratic norms and a plot to introduce anarchy during internal party elections as currently obtainable in the APC.
“The PDP holds that the provision is aimed at increasing the costs of nomination procedures thereby surrendering the processes to money bags against the wishes and aspiration of Nigerians.
“Our party makes bold to state that with the exception of the APC, which intends to deploy looted funds in future elections, hardly will there be any political party that will be able to raise the cost of conducting internal elections under a direct primary process.
“This is why the decision of the Senate has elicited widespread rejection from Nigerians across board.
“The PDP therefore urges the Senate to immediately deploy its appropriate legislative instruments to reverse itself on the direct primaries as it is not operable and does not reflect the wishes and aspiration of the majority of Nigerians.”
Attempts to get a response from the APC were futile. Calls to the mobile telephone number of the party’s National Secretary, Senator John Akpanudoedehe were neither picked nor returned.
A response to a message sent to him on the subject was still being awaited as of the time of sending this report.
This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.