Governor of Sokoto State and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, has called on the National Assembly to listen to the voice of Nigerians on the ongoing amendments to the Electoral Act 2010.
Tambuwal, who said he was speaking in his personal capacity as a concerned Nigerian, faulted the alleged plan by the federal parliament to disempower the Independent National Electoral Commission from transmitting results of elections electronically.
In the statement issued on Monday and titled ‘Electronic Transmission of Votes: An Appeal to National Assembly Members to Do the Right Thing’, the governor stressed the need for the lawmakers to give the country an electoral law that allows free, fair and credible polls.
Tambuwal said, “I am minded and constrained to add my voice in making this appeal to the sitting members of the National Assembly, not as the Vice-Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, nor as Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, not even as the Governor of Sokoto State, but as a Nigerian citizen and former Speaker of the House of Representatives.
We believe that it is in the national interest to bequeath to Nigeria, an Electoral Act that will contribute to free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria irrespective of party platform. We have seen many times where a person may be in the ruling party today and in the opposition party tomorrow. We have also experienced a situation where party leaders would want to frustrate the reelection of a sitting member, even in the same political party. What guarantees the reelection of a member of the National Assembly or indeed any other contestant should be his performance and appeal, not the dictates of any godfather either as governor, president or party leader or stakeholder
It is a credible, free and fair election that will ensure that the voters decide any electoral contest. The Edo and Ondo states elections where electronic transmission of votes cast from the unit level ensured that the voters wishes were respected are good examples. PDP won in Edo and APC won in Ondo as a result.”
The ex-Speaker noted that while some have argued that Internet penetration in all parts of Nigeria is not assured, This is exactly why the bill should give INEC the prerogative of introducing electronic transmission of votes in any election.
He added, “In any case, INEC has demonstrated and assured that it has the technology to transmit votes electronically even without the Internet. INEC had also assured that with the new process and technology, any interested Nigerian could track or monitor the results of the election from his or her house.
Once results of elections are announced from the collation centres, down to the wards, local governments and final collation centres, any person can monitor it without any human error.