Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has called on Nigerians to insist that the 2023 elections in the country must be made internet-compliant.
The group said election results must be transmitted electronically, “otherwise, there shall be no elections.”
While reacting to the rejection of electronic transfer of election results in the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill by the National Assembly, in a statement by its spokesperson, Comrade Jare Ajayi, Afenifere said a corollary to the demand is to restructure the country holistically before the next general election.
“The choice before us as a people is to insist that the next election in the country be made to be as internet-compliant as possible, otherwise, there shall be no elections.
“A corollary to this is that restructuring must take place holistically before the next general election,” he said.
Ajayi said the action of the lawmakers showed that majority of them are not there to serve the people’s interests but that of those they considered as holding the lever of power.
“Announcing or broadcasting elections results via the internet, just like transferring money electronically, is certainly one of the ways for the country to develop technologically. For the National Assembly to vote against it shows that those who voted against it want election malpractices to continue in Nigeria. It is unfortunate,” he said.
Ajayi, however, noted that INEC is in a position to transmit elections results electronically, from the affirmation of the immediate past chairman of the body, Professor Attahiru Jega.
There was controversy in the House of Representatives over Clause 52(2) of the Bill which gives the Independent National Electoral Commission the discretion to determine when, where and how voting and and transmission of results will be done.
The Senate also ruled out the possibility of having results transmitted electronically when it voted that the National Communication Commission, with the NASS approval, would determine whether INEC could transmit results electronically or not.
The controversial clause divided the two chambers along party and regional lines as the lawmakers voted against electronic transmission of results.