Details emerged on Wednesday on why senators elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) voted against electronic transmission of election results last week.
Fifty APC senators and two of their counterparts in the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) voted against the electronic transmission of election results in the forthcoming general elections, a decision that has been widely condemned by Nigerians.
The senators had insisted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be compelled to seek clearance from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), while the National Assembly would have to approve the verdict of the NCC.
The Senate while considering the Electoral Act 2010 Amendment Bill, had voted that “the commission (INEC) may consider electronic transmission of results, provided the national coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and approved by the National Assembly.”
While justifying the action of the lawmakers who voted against the bill, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, had said that the upper chamber took the decision in defence of about half of the Nigerian voters whose votes may not be counted with immediate deployment or application of electronic transmission of election results.
However, speaking exclusively with Daily Independent on Wednesday, one of the senators from the South- West, who was in Lagos for the Sallah break, said they jointly took the decision because they believe that Nigeria is not yet ripe for electronic voting and transmission of results.
While denying reports that the national leadership of the party or the presidency mandated them to vote against the report, the ranking lawmaker said prior to the division between the APC and PDP lawmakers, the APC lawmakers had earlier agreed that they were not in support of electronic voting as it is susceptible to being hacked.
He said the system can easily be manipulated that the votes cast for a candidate in APC can easily be manipulated on the system to go to PDP and vice versa.
“It is wrong for anyone to say that we were ordered by the presidency or the party leadership to vote against electronic voting and transmission of results. We are independent-minded and don’t forget, we have APC caucus in the Senate as well as PDP caucus”.
On our own, we have agreed that electronic voting as good as it is has its own shortcomings which need to be addressed before it can be adopted. If not, it can lead to miscarriage of justice as somebody’s votes can be easily given to another.