Controversial and outspoken Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has described the Senate approval for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to transmit election results electronically as a welcome development.
The Islamic scholar said the approval is the best news Nigeria has received since the country’s return to democratic rule in 1999 and should guarantee free and fair elections.
The obviously elated Gumi added that with the approval, the government must now shift attention to funding and implementation.
Naija News recalls the Nigerian Senate on Tuesday, empowered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the best mode to transmit election results.
The senate made the decision while reconsidering the election amendment act.
Under a new amendment of Clause 52 (2) of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, the Senate resolved that “voting at an election and transmission of results under this Bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the Commission, which may include electronic voting”.
Following the lawmakers’ decision, INEC will be empowered to decide how to transmit election results — either electronically or manually.
Reacting to the development, Sheikh Gumi in a Facebook post titled ‘The Revised Electoral Act On Electronic Transmission Of Election Results: Congratulations Nigerians!’ said rigging and vote manipulation will be greatly reduced with the new way of transmitting election results.
He further observed that Nigerians will have the opportunity to choose their leaders and eliminate the common practice of money politics which results in the emergence of unqualified persons in positions of power.
In the words of Gumi, “Since 1999 when the khaki returned to the barracks, we’ve not heard the better good news for Nigerians as this singular act of making it legal to transmit elections results electronically. Though, it remains the funding and implementation which are yet to be seen.
“Nonetheless, this will in no way immeasurable reduce the rigging and votes manipulation, the only way bad politicians have been able to hold the nation for a long time at its jugular veins. Money politics, mediocrity, and political blackmailing will all vanish or nearly so by making every vote genuinely counted. This is a big plus for our Senate and the democracy that gives Nigerians free will to choose and repel leaders they so wish.
“INEC has to immediately with the collaboration of NGOs embark on a voter’s awareness campaign, which should include the rural areas. With satellite internet technology perfected and available, no inch of Nigeria soil should be out of reach of the election.
“There are a lot of technical issues, involved, but nothing is insurmountable looking at the experience of countries like India with almost 800 million voters.
“We have been advocating this since early 2015 when we had a conference in Gamji hall Kaduna attended by representatives of INEC, PDP and APC under the auspices of ‘MY CHOICE MY PRIDE FOUNDATION’. Notably, Engr. Buba Galadima made a speech on behalf on the APC. It was memorable and we are glad that some semblance to free and fair elections is on the horizon now as we may say good riddance to bad governance.”