From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The League of Women Voters of Nigeria has lamented the exclusion of electronic transmission of results from the ongoing amendment of the Electoral Act.
Briefing reporters in Abuja, the President of the League of Women Voters of Nigeria, Dame Esther Uduehi, said the exclusion of the electronic transmission of results from the Electoral Act meant that there will be no free and fair elections in the country.
Uduehi added that if electronic transmission of results is excluded from the Electoral Act, it meant that anybody will write something other than what the people have spoken with their votes.
‘So, we call on the National Assembly to remember that the two last elections that INEC conducted, Edo State and Ondo State, those two elections were adjudged as one of the best elections reflective of the wishes of the people. It shows that electronics, technology, will really do something good for our democracy.
‘So, it is not a question of saying they will try and put it or that. We reject that. We reject in totality. We are saying that electronic transfer of election results is sacrosanct to free and fair election and it is the sine qua non to getting a free and fair election. It is a condition for getting a free and fair election as shown in the Edo result and in the Ondo result.
‘And we also believe that the removal of that, when the politicians know that there will be no transmission of results electronically, then they can go and make changes to the results as has been cast by the people. That will not be good enough,’ Uduehi said.
Earlier, Uduehi noted that women were critical stakeholders, especially in electoral matters, adding that women were made of over 50 per cent voters in the country.
Uduehi further said during elections, most of the people who line up to vote were mostly women, saying that the exclusion was a setback to the work the group has been doing to encourage women to participate during elections.
‘Many times when you want them to register, they tell you why should we bother ourselves when elections don’t count in this country.
‘And now, we have been trying to convince them to come out and register because we are working hard to ensure that the votes count.
‘If you do all these work, going to market places, going to hospitals, going everywhere to mobilise women to come and register and keep their voters card with them so that they can vote credible leaders, after doing all these, how do you think we will feel to imagine that the National Assembly is trying to pass a law that will aid corruption in the electoral system?
‘Because most of the things we are discussing are ingredients for the rigging of electron such that people can perhaps, just sit in their houses and not bothered.
‘And when you have gone, you have laboured, you have been in the sun, trying to cast your votes, then you just hear that someone somewhere has written a result and it scales through.
‘That is why we have called you here this morning to express our anger about this situation and to call on our representatives because they are there to represent us, to do the needful, to listen to the voice of Nigerians and to make sure that that law, when finally passed, takes into consideration, the views of Nigerians,’ Uduehi also said.
The League of Women Voters of Nigeria further lamented the funding of elections, saying it was laughable when they saw the hiking of the amount allowed for campaigns for the various political offices.
Uduehi stated that the huge sum of money meant that women have been totally disenfranchised because even with the current situation, as low as it is, women cannot afford it.