Lagos – Prof. Olanrewajun Fagbohun, Vice -Chancellor, Lagos State University (LASU) says the conduct of elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) through Electronic voting is possible in Nigeria.
Fagbohun made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on the sidelines of a maiden political debate for the executive aspirants of the LASU Students Union (LASUSU) on Friday in Lagos.
The debate was organised by Soyiga Media Platform in conjunction with the LASU Centre for Information Press and Public Relations (CIPPR).
He said all that was required was timely preparation, a sincerity of purpose and a desire by all stakeholders to make it work.
“After the 2019 election for instance, INEC should not wait for another for four years. We should start planning for the 2023 election now.
“If we make up our mind and have the political will to conduct an E-voting, we will, though it may not be perfect the first time we try, but we would have started,’’ he said.
According to him, the electronic voting is not a rocket science and so is achievable, as long as it is very well prepared for.
Fagbohun noted that many other countries have been conducting their elections through electronic voting, adding that it was not difficult or impossible for the country to do.
He said that once there was proper monitoring and enforcement in place, the E -voting would work well.
The Vice-Chancellor said, to conduct an electronic voting in Nigeria, should not be question of somebody sitting somewhere and clowning things.
The professor, while acknowledging the large population of illiterate Nigerians, noted that there was nothing intended to do in the era of technology that could not be simplified, as technology had made everything easy.
“It depends on how well the process is simplified, knowing fully-well that we have a large number of illiterate who are going to be involved,’’ he said.
Fagbohun said there must also be massive voters’ education prior to deploying the application.
According to him, nothing stops the umpire from having a pilot test run even before the E- voting election.
“This will be a shadow election, conducted to test run and find out how easy the application we are deploying.
“Even for those who are physically challenged, it may be their eyes or whatever that they may need to use and they will be able to vote,’’ he said.
NAN reports that two final year students of LASU have designed an Electronic Voting application, which was adopted by the university management under the former Vice-Chancellor, Prof. John Obafunwa in January 2014 to conduct the students’ union election.
Since 2014, students’ union elections in the university had been conducted using the electronic voting system.