NBA tasks INEC on online voting
The Asaba Branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to introduce online voting in line with the global trend.
Mr Precious Nwadimuya, the Chairman of the branch said this when he spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Asaba on Thursday.
Nwadimuya said that the introduction of technology in voting and not just accreditation would help to eliminate thuggery, ballots box snatching, suppression of voters as well as encourage more voters to exercise their mandate.
“With the introduction of technology in voting, I can sit down in my house and vote.
”Nobody will intimidate or suppress me or buy my votes at home,” he added.
Nwadimuya, who commended INEC for the introduction of the Bi-Modal Voter Authentication System (BVAS) for accreditation, said that it would have been better if such technology could also be introduced for voting.
He said that although the introduction of the BVAS impacted positively on the election, the machines did not function as expected.
”People are crying foul because accreditation worked very well with the BVAS, but failed in the transmission of results. This resulted in the speculations that the results were manually manipulated,” he added.
Nwadimuya stressed the need for INEC to also introduce technology that can be used for voting.
”In my view as an observer, I believe the BVAS impacted positively on the election in the sense that we used to have what the call Sokoto voting (having large amount of votes in some places to influence results).
”In spite of the enthusiasm of the people who went to vote, the figures are rather still lower than the number of registered voters.
”I can say that because of the BVAS they could not really manipulate the figures. Now that the BVAS captures the number of persons accredited, you cannot inflate the votes beyond what is in the BVAS,” he said.
Nwadimuya also faulted INEC in the area of logistics, saying that in spite of the huge amount of fund that was committed to the conduct of the election, INEC still failed in the area of logistics.
“The feedback we got was that polling unit officers could not leave the INEC offices where they were given the election materials because there was no logistics.
”So it was as if INEC focused on carrying the election materials to far away places, but failed to make arrangements for transportation for those areas that are close.
”Because of this, voters have to mobilise for transportation to transport INEC staff to polling units,” he added.
On his part, the state Coordinator, Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) Pastor Edewor Egedegbe, commended INEC for a job well done in the Feb 25 election that the first phase of the election had come and gone.
”I will say credit to the BVAS. The BVAS has been able to inculcate in the Nigerian electorates. The era of incident form and thumb printing is over.
”However the BVAS was not able to transmit the official results through the INEC portal and I think that is a minus on INEC part,” he said.
Egedegbe advised INEC to ensure that it’s portal began to receive results emanating from every polling units in the country.
He also advised INEC to step up its security architecture, saying that INEC did not live up to its promise in the area of security.
”As an observer going round the state, there was no security presence in majority of the polling units across the state. And that was replicated in most of the polling units across the country.
”March 11, is going to come with its own uniqueness because that will be state governors and House of Assembly election. The election will be more localised and there will be more attention by the citizens.
”Security architecture should be up and not only that, logistics should also be up,” he said.
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