No Point Signing Amended Electoral Act Without e-Transmission of Results Enshrined In It – Ortom Urges Buhari


Governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom has admonished President Muhammadu Buhari against giving assent to the recently-passed electoral act amendment bill if it does not provide for the electronic transmission of election results.

Recall that the senate and house of representatives, at separate sessions in July, had passed the bill — but not after heated argument at both chambers over the electronic transmission of results.

The senate had passed the bill and granted the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) powers to certify coverage, subject to approval by the national assembly before INEC can be allowed to adopt electronic transmission of election results.

The lower chamber on its part said INEC can take the decision on electronic transmission “where practicable”.

It was earlier reported that the NCC in 2018 recommended the electronic transmission of election results ahead of the 2019 elections.

The senate claimed it attached conditions to the electronic transmission of election results because only 50 percent of the country’s polling units could use technology to transmit results.

Ortom while speaking in an interview with Vanguard accused the lawmakers elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of collaborating with Buhari against adopting transmission of election results electronically.

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He said the security challenges in the north “are created by politicians to ensure that no election takes place so that they will rig the election”.

He said at a time when the world is going digital, it is out of place for Nigeria to keep doing things with the analogue system.“And this is what is going on, and honestly, I want to advise the President that there is no need to sign the amended Electoral Act without the provision for electronic transmission of results. I think we have come of age, we cannot be going back to analogue when the entire world is going digital,” Ortom said.

“Everything is going digital today, whether television, radio or cars. The President must have a rethink, let him not take Nigerians from top to bottom, but rather use the remaining period we have to take us from bottom to top so that we can get things right in this country.

”And I think that any attempt to continue to do manual transmission of election results will deny voters the right to vote and to have their votes count which the President promised. Let every Nigerian have the right to cast his or her vote and let that vote count. But from what we have seen the intention is to make sure that our votes do not count.”

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On the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ortom said the opposition party “has learnt its lessons and are willing to stoop down to be the true democratic party that is people-oriented”.

He added that all the PDP governors have agreed to place the interest of the party over theirs, and remain committed to the party “because we have seen that the APC led government has failed in all areas of governance”.INEC to commence Voter's Registration

Photo Credit: Getty

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