Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) said endorsed the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to experiment e-voting in 2021 starting with Anambra State.
It described the decision as a giant step forward in the Nigeria’s political process. It also gave kudos to coronavirus pandemic with has altered the nation’s political horizon with its health, social and financial implications, thus making the use of electronic voting imperative.
The Chairman, Dr. Leonard Nzenwa, in a statement released in Abuja, yesterday, said IPAC has been in the vanguard for the use of electronic voting system in conducting elections in Nigeria, which, according to him, will guarantee free, fair, credible, transparent, acceptable and peaceful polls.
He noted that the new measure outlined in INEC recently released policy on conduct of elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic document is realistic, exhaustive, health-sensitive and in tune with reality of the times.
“The exigencies of the moment have made it imperative for INEC to receive political parties’ nomination forms for Edo and Ondo governorship elections online in compliance with various established COVID-19 preventive protocols such as social distancing.
“Being a new political framework, the need for effective voter education by INEC, political parties, civil society organisations and media cannot be overemphasised as the electorate will be required to wear face masks and adhere to personal hygiene and social distancing.”
He agreed that the decision, will affect Nigeria’s vibrant political campaigns, but political parties and their candidates would face the reality and adopt COVID-19 friendly approach to electoral campaigns.