IPAC kicks as NASS expunges electronic transmission of results from Electoral Bill

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IPAC kicks as NASS expunges electronic transmission of results from Electoral Bill

Aftermath of the exclusion of the provision for the electronic transmission of election results from the Electoral Act Amendment Bill by the National Assembly recently, the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has kicked against its exclusion in the final version of the Electoral Bill by the National Assembly.

IPAC’s rejection is contained in a statement issued on Monday signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Ambassador Agbo Major.

The statement describes the NASS decision as “unacceptable and repugnant to free and fair poll and a coup against the Nigerian people who desire and deserve credible elections.”

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According to the statement, electronic voting and transmission of results guarantees sanctity of the ballot box and prevents rigging and manipulation of electoral outcomes from mischievously doctored and falsified results at collation centres.

It further accused the National Assembly of turning recent stakeholders meetings and public hearings on the matter to mere jamborees.

The Council urged the National Assembly to defend the nation’s fledgling democracy by expunging the controversial Section 50(2) of the proposed electoral bill which it describes as “obnoxious.”

The Section states thus: “Voting at election under this Bill shall be in accordance with the procedures determined by the Commission, which may include electronic voting PROVIDED that the Commission shall not transmit results of the elections by electronic means.”

The statement reads in part:

“IPAC as the umbrella body of the 18 registered political parties by INEC and a critical stakeholder submitted its memoranda on Electoral Act and Constitution amendments, and demanded for electronic voting system and transmission of results

in the quest for free, fair, credible, transparent, generally accepted, inclusive and peaceful elections in Nigeria.

“This was the consensus of all stakeholders at various meetings and public hearings. It is unfair and unjust for the leadership of the National Assembly to thwart and sabotage the will, desire and expectation of Nigerians for credible elections that meet international standards.

“More importantly, political parties are deregistered for failure to win a legislative seat among others. It will be an uphill task for political parties not in government to win elections if the process is grossly flawed.

“Election is the beauty of democracy as sovereignty resides in the people. The mandate of the electorate in a free and fair election must be respected. To do otherwise, is an invitation to anarchy that characterized most elections in Nigeria since independence in 1960.

“This provision makes mockery of the entire electoral amendment and dashed the hopes of patriotic Nigerians of having key reforms in the electoral process.

”With the insertion of the anti- people clause into the Bill, legislators have shown clearly that they do not mean well for Nigerians and undercut the gain made by INEC during the last Edo and Ondo Gubernatorial Polls which they also plan to do during the Anambra Polls coming up November 6, 2021. IPAC demands the immediate expunging of the clause to save Nigeria’s democracy and the credibility of the nation’s elections,” it fumed.

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