By Ibukun Emiola
Ibadan – The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in south-western region of the country has pleaded with the National Assembly to pass e-voting bill to address the problems of manual election process.
Mr Samson Olalere, the National Vice Chairman of the party, made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Tuesday.
“It is quite unfortunate that Nigeria is still at this stage in its electoral process. Our lawmakers should look into reviewing the electoral system.
“Nigeria has grown enough to have electronic voting that will not be witnessing setbacks such as the fire incidence in Ondo State office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“If nothing is done to change the narrative, things will not move forward.
“Under normal circumstances, Nigeria ought to have grown beyond the manual electoral process that is giving us problems.
“We should not be thinking of using card readers to vote anymore,” he said.
He also said that the legislators should rise up quickly to review the law for the good of the country.
“INEC has always expressed its readiness for electronic voting but if there is no law backing it up, there is no way INEC can do it.
“So our lawmakers should hasten up and get this thing done so that Nigeria will move forward.
“E- voting will curb all these crises that we use to have during the electioneering.
“If the process is electronic and you know that you cannot easily manipulate and rig, then things will work well and there will be peace,” Olalere said.
He observed that if INEC had a backup system, there would be no problem for the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State.
“The electoral umpire still has an ample time to set things right.
“Usually, there is still a gap to make preparations, we advise that if there is no backup, the election could be shifted within the month of October, according to the Electoral Act.
“So, INEC still has time for them to bring up the backup or to have another card reader from other parts of the country since it’s not a general election.
“It is possible for them to activate other card readers for the purpose of the Ondo State election,” he said.
Olalere further stated that INEC needed to beef up security on its property to forestall recurrence.
“The state government also needs to invest in fire-fighting equipment.
“We want to believe that INEC would be able to revamp the situation and get some other card readers and go ahead with the election,” he said.