The decision of the Nigerian Senate to endorse the electronic transmission of election results has been described as a victory for the electoral process.
Stating this in Osogbo during a radio current affairs programme on Wednesday, the duo of Ayo Ologun, a broadcaster and Bukola Idowu, a social crusader stated that the initial refusal by the red chamber was because the members of the national legislature were upholding party interest in favour of national interest.
Maintaining that the problem with elections in Nigeria has always been the collation of results, they maintained that the electronic transmission of results is the way to go.
While explaining the difference between electronic transmission of election results and internet voting, they stated that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had runned it in Edo and Ondo States gubernatorial elections and it worked perfectly.
Noting that in electronic voting and transmission of election results, devices are used but in internet voting, there is a need for a portal to be created where results would be posted for all to see.
They noted that INEC had disclosed that with a 3G network, results could be transmitted from polling units to the collation centres.
They also explained that though INEC tested it in both states, it was not backed up legally, adding that the manual transmission of results is what INEC wanted to expunge from the electoral processes.
They said the provision would provide a level playing field for all aspirants since there is now a legal backing for electronic transmission of election results.
The duo also agreed that with the new direction, litigations after elections would be reduced to the barest minimum.
While admitting that the use of smart card readers during elections by INEC has not been approved by law, they agreed that electronic transmission of election results may not be applicable during the Anambra State Gubernatorial Election because President Muhammadu Buhari may not have signed the bill.
In order to fulfil this obligation, they asked the National Assembly to increase the budgetary allocation to INEC because it would cost the electoral umpire more in terms of personnel training, employment of ad-hoc staff and equipment.
This decision by the Senate on Tuesday is coming after months of bashings from the public and political critics over the resolution against unfettered electronic transmission of election results by INEC where and when applicable.
Both APC, PDP senators voted against electronic transmission of results – Lawan