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INEC: No Going Back on Electronic Transmission of Poll Results
By James Sowole
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it will not go back on the electronic transmission of results from polling units in future elections, unless the National Assembly enacts a new law to stop it from doing so.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Ogun State, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, stated this during a news conference at the state INEC headquarters in Abeokuta Thursday.
According to Agbaje, who just resumed in the state as the REC, the INEC already had enough law that capacitated it to transmit election results electronically.
Agbaje said: “We have enough law that capacitated us to go ahead but if the National Assembly says we cannot do it with the new committee that had been set up, we will stop and that will be a new law.
“If they are going to make a new law that will incapacitate us that will be too bad.
“With the shout of Nigerians, non-governmental bodies, the media and many other stakeholders, I believe the National Assembly will do the right thing so that INEC can go ahead.
“If the National Assembly see that there is any way that NCC can help, they should tell the NCC. They have enough time to do that. They have more than one and a half years to do neccessary things before the general election.
“We have an understanding that if results cannot be transmitted at a particular polling unit or location, due to network problems, they can move from the unit level to ward level where there is network and do it.
“Even before the transmission, all the party agents would have the manual copies of the results.
“To the INEC, we are very much ready and we have the capacity to do it to the admiration of all Nigerians.
“Where we have governorship election this year, in Ekiti and Osun States next year, we are going to do that if the National Assembly do not stop us.
“It is not only in the southern part of the country that we have been using it. In the House of Representatives and Senate elections that we conducted, we have used it and we shall continue to improve on what we have been doing.
“But if the National Assembly says we cannot do it, well but for this coming election in Anambra later this year, Ekiti and Osun election next year, we are going to do it.”
Speaking on the number of eligible voters that participated in the Continuous Voter Register (CVR) in the first quarter of the exercise, Agbaje said the number recorded in Ogun State was lower when compared with the figure recorded in other South-west states of Ekiti, Osun and Ondo and when the population is taken into consideration.
Giving the figure, the REC said 414,928 persons registered online in Osun, 55,099 in Ondo, 57,623 in Ekiti and 46,937 in Ogun State.
Explaining the actual number of eligible voters that completed their registration during the period, Agbaje said 63,259 did in Osun, 20,632 in Ondo, 19,128 in Ekiti and 12,231 in Ogun.
He therefore urged stakeholders to help sensitise the people on the need to come out enmasse and participate in the CVR, which is a continuous exercise.