Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, has called for the country’s election results to be transmitted electronically.
He made the statement during a national political summit in Abuja ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“Transmission of election results has been one of the key areas in which reckless, unpatriotic, and self-serving politicians have undermined the integrity of the Nigerian electoral process,” Jega said.
He said: “Bringing remarkable integrity to the Nigerian electoral process, therefore, would no doubt require the jettisoning of the traditional obtuse manual transmission of results, and its replacement with using appropriate technology with electronic transmission of results.”
Professor Jega is particularly concerned about citizens’ lack of trust in the electoral process and the poor performance of those who have been elected through it.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome, on his part blamed the failure of the electoral system on Nigerians who “enthrone tyranny during elections for peanuts”.
“Are we practicing democracy? No. We are practicing election-ocracy, that is my new term for it. What do I mean by election-ocracy? Every four years, Nigerians go out to the poll to carry out a ritual of electing their leaders,” he explained.
He added: “They never actually elect them anyway because their leaders select themselves, they are state captors. They have captured the state.”
Professor Pat Utomi, a political economist, presented a solution in his remarks, which included the merger of three political parties in addition to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) (PDP).
Many of the participants believe that in order to secure effective government in Nigeria, Nigerians must be willing to embrace the appropriate motives for voting individuals who would lead them through a credible election process.