The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State has demanded details from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on its purported plan to use the state’s forthcoming governorship election to test run e-voting in the country.
INEC had in its 17-page “Policy on Conducting Elections in the Context of the Covid-19 Pandemic” released in May disclosed that it will introduce electronic voting (e-voting) in off-season elections starting in 2021.
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Reacting to the development, the PDP and Anambra state government said they were yet to get details of INEC’s plan for the e-voting and can only react when it is available.
The State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment Mr. C.Don Adinunba said, “We are still waiting and studying the INEC statement and we will make statement at appropriate time when the picture is clearer.
“For now, we cannot make any categorical statement,” he said.
“It needs legal backing”
The state chairman of PDP, Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu in a telephone conversation said INEC needs to clarify to the party on the guidelines for e-voting before he can make a categorical statement.
According to Nwobu, though, e-voting is a welcome development but they need to know much about how it was going to be organised.
He also said that before the e-voting commences, there is a need for it to backed by law so that nobody will challenge the outcome of the election in the court on that basis.
“The INEC statement on using Anambra state 2021 governorship elections to test run the e-voting needs to be made clearer to us for us to know what are involved. We cannot officially react on issues when we don’t have details information” he said.
Also speaking on the issue, one of the governorship aspirants under the platform of PDP in the state, Dr. Godwin Ezeemo also said that he cannot say anything on the e-voting until he gets a clearer picture of the modus operandi.
” Right now, I cannot make any statement on it until I see the condition for the e-voting. I can not make comment on what I don’t know anything about.
“They said they want to use e-voting for the forthcoming governorship elections in Anambra state. I cannot say much until they come out with the detailed information” he said.
A Welcome Development
Speaking on the issue, the chairman of APC in Anambra state, Chief Basil Ejidike described the plan as a great milestone in the electoral reengineering of the nation’s electioneering process.
According to him, e-voting allows free and credible elections that is devoid of manipulations and other vices associated with the country elections process over the years.
He said APC introducing e-voting means that the party was interested in bequeathing sanity in the electoral process of the country.
Ejidike said that the APC in Anambra is fully in support and is ready to work with INEC to achieve a successful election in the state.
” We are in support and fully prepared to work with INEC in the e-voting experiment. The e-voting will stop the unnecessary manipulations, rigging, and others that were associated with our electoral process in the past.
“It behooves on all of us to support and make sure that it works. We will do everything humanly possible to ensure that INEC succeed with the e-voting. It is not a new thing, it has been working in other climes and it will work in Nigeria” he said.
Reacting to the legal framework to kick start the e-voting, he said that INEC as a credible institution cannot do anything that is not backed by law.
” The fact that they said they want to test run e-voting in Anambra, means they will make sure that their actions are backed by law.
E-voting is more transparent and credible. It is done in other places and it can be done in Nigeria. This simply means as you are voting, it is automatically being recorded and giving no rooms for rigging and manipulation of votes. It is highly welcomed and I want to commend APC for the wonderful move” he said.