2019 polls:  NITDA DG counsels INEC on credible elections | Dailytrust

2019 polls:  NITDA DG counsels INEC on credible elections

Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami
Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami

The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Dr. Ibrahim Isa Pantami, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to collaborate with all relevant agencies of government to deliver free and fair elections.

Dr Pantami said the only way the Commission could guarantee hitch-free election is by automation of the entire electoral process across the country.

He made the assertion on Tuesday shortly after collecting his Permanent Voters Card, PVC at the Government Secondary School, Gwarimpa in Abuja.

To achieve this feat, he advised the INEC to recognize the importance of synergy with sister agencies relevant in the electoral process and collaborate with them to be able to deliver credible and acceptable elections in the country.

According to him, the electoral body must recognize the need for the National Identity Management Card being issued by the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC and the Nigerian Immigration, which he said will enable the Commission ascertain the authentic citizens resident in the country and eligible to vote in a particular election.

He said: ‘‘It will be very easier for us to have a free and fair elections, if we are serious about our National Identity Management Card.  With this, we will be able to know the number of people in the country and any tampering, we will cross-check but if we do not have a data base, it will be difficult for us to manage the future election processes.

‘‘At the level we are going, we will reach a level everything will be automated and most importantly, no system is 100% secured.  More importantly, INEC has a lot of role to play. They should know that no single agency can do it alone. If they have expertise on conducting election, for sure they do not have expertise in information technology.

‘‘For example, they have no capacity to verify the true citizens of the country so that other people will not come here to vote. That is why inter-agency collaboration is very important. But sometimes, when we feel that somebody can do it alone, then that will be the beginning of our down fall.

‘‘INEC should understand that they cannot do it alone. If they want free and fair election, the first thing they should do is to identify the relevant institutions and the role they have to play so that they can come together and have an effective team to make it more successful. I hope in the subsequent elections, we will improve electronically bit by bit until we reach a level it will be 100% electronically.’’

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