The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has developed a technology that will enable it transmit election results electronically direct from polling units to its states’ headquarters.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Ebonyi, Prof. Godswill Obioma, disclosed this at a meeting with faith-based organizations on Tuesday, in Abakaliki.
According to him, the new technology is part of efforts by the commission to eliminate rigging, electoral frauds and other irregularities and to ensure the enthronement of credibility and transparency in the electoral process.
Obioma reassured the electorate that their votes would count in the 2019 general elections and urged them to participate in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
“INEC is strengthening the process of transmitting election results electronically direct from polling booths to INEC Headquarters.
“We hope that the latest technological innovation will be perfected and deployed in the 2019 general elections.
“The new strategy will discourage politicians from ballot box snatching, stuffing of ballot boxes and indulgence in other forms of electoral irregularities.
“The commission will do everything to ensure that votes count in 2019 and that those who will emerge will emerge through popular votes.
“We have only one message and the message is that you come out and register and ensure that you collect your PVC to qualify you to exercise your franchise,” he said.
The REC explained that the meeting was part of conscious efforts by INEC to build strategic partnership and alliance that would be harnessed to mobilize the electorate.
“This meeting is aimed at jointly charting strategic paths for a credible 2019 elections and to see in what best ways we can partner with the organizations to reach out to their members.
“It is also to mobilize those who are 18 years and above to come out and register and collect their PVCs,” he added.
Obioma explained that making the electoral process more inclusive by getting more people involved in civic responsibilities would reduce political tension and those chosen in elections would be better accepted as representatives of the people.
He said that the commission had embarked on aggressive sensitisation and voter education since he resumed office as REC in Ebonyi on July 12.
“We have undertaken stakeholders’ town hall meetings in all the 13 local government areas of the state where we met with the people in their localities and sensitise them to the continuous voter registration.
“We followed the town hall meetings with the stakeholders’ village square meetings in the wards across the local government areas.
“We listened to their views on how we can do better in our programmes to achieve greater penetration in the society,” he said.
Our correspondent reports that no fewer than 50 representatives of faith-based organisations, including Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs attended the meeting.