Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, says the national assembly will “stand condemned before God” if the lawmakers fail to adopt electronic transmission of election results.
A clause in the electoral act amendment bill, currently on the floor of the national assembly, provides for e-transmission of election results.
In July, the house of representatives voted for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to transmit election results electronically, while the senate empowered the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to decide on e-transmission.
But INEC has insisted that it has the capacity to transmit results electronically, if the “necessary legal framework” is provided.
Speaking on Friday, while delivering an address to mark Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary, Wike advised the national assembly to adopt e-transmission of results as part of efforts to promote transparency in the electoral process.
“Although our challenges are multiple and varied, they are not beyond redemption. What is needed is the courage and commitment of our leaders and everyone to find sustainable solutions to these challenges and lay the groundwork for a new peaceful, united and prosperous Nigeria through national dialogue and on the basis of justice, equity and accommodation,” he said.
“We must defend the basic structures of democracy and good governance by rising up to protect our right to free, fair and credible elections by demanding for the immediate incorporation of electronic voting and simultaneous transmission of results into our electoral system, which the nation’s electoral management body has repeated said, it has both the capacity, commitment and infrastructure to effect, if only the national assembly would allow.
“The national assembly stands condemned before God and the people of Nigeria should they fail to yield to this overwhelming demand by Nigerians for electronic transmission of election results.
“This is not a matter of politics of sentiments; it is a matter of the survival of our nation, which is superior to all other considerations.”
Meanwhile, the senate and house of representatives have constituted committees to harmonise the differences in the versions of the bill passed by both chambers.