Activist lawyer and former chairman of Ikeja, Lagos State branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Monday Ubani, has advised the Nigerian government to consider approving electronic voting and electronic transmission of election results. Ubani also frowns at the way the Nigerian government is fighting insurgency and expressed the belief that the country can be greater than it is at the moment. He speaks with OLADIPUPO AWOJOBI in an interview. Excerpts…
Electronic transmission of election results was rejected by the majority members of the National Assembly, would you say the country is even ripe for that in the first place?
We are more than ripe for electronic transmission of election results, this is the era of technology; we need to eliminate the interference of human factor in our electoral process in terms of what we have suffered over rigging and manipulations of electoral results in the country. Where we have problem is the collation of the results after they have announced the results at the polling units and the result will change automatically before it is announced. Many countries have eliminated election rigging, even smaller African countries. Many countries have embraced the technology of electronic voting and electronic transfer of election results.
For instance, Ghana has eliminated rigging in their electoral processes. The new Ghanaian president lost election four years ago, but now has won another election. Though he lost then, he is satisfied that the electoral process is now genuine. They have redefined their electoral process. We cannot get it right as a nation if we cannot determine leadership through the mandate of the people. The people should decide who rules them.
The issue of the sovereign mandate of the people that is given in a fair process is what everybody should be fighting for. Human interference in the electoral process has not allowed us to produce credible candidates or public officers that can make Nigeria fly. It would take us many years to catch up with the rest of the world with the way we are going.
We don’t need men who are backward in thinking to occupy positions of authority because with such men we won’t make progress as a nation. That is why people leave the country in droves for greener pastures elsewhere. That is why we need to get our electoral system right. I believe in electronic voting and electronic transmission of results. Now, the law, which they wanted to amend states that electronic transfer of election results could be done whenever and wherever practicable.
But a member of the National Assembly told us that the NCC said that they could not guarantee more than 50% network coverage in the country…
He is lying because as at 2015 they told everybody on their website that they have over 80% network coverage in the country. We don’t even highlight what is in the law. It states that INEC should make electronic transmission of results wherever and whenever possible. It means that in any area that there is no network…..
CLINK LINK BELOW TO READ MORE OF THIS INTERVIEW IN THE NEW TELEGRAPH NEWSPAPER: