HURIWA Slams INEC Over Decision On Electronic Voting

A leading pro-democracy and non-governmental

organization – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION

OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned the Professor

Yakubu Mahmood – led Independent National Electoral

Commission (INEC) for ruling out the use of electronic

voting in the 2019 general election.

The Rights group said the decision is ill-advised and is

meant to provide ample opportunities for politicians who

are incumbents of the two main political parties to use

powers of incumbency and massive financial resources

at their disposal to manipulate the electoral process to

reach a predetermined objective even as the cases of

ghosts voters and child voters will then become

widespread and impossible to detect.

HURIWA said the current management of INEC has

proved not to be a reliable unbiased electoral umpires

who are willing to conduct free, fair, credible and

peaceful election comes 2019.

Relatedly, the Rights group has described as

substantially false and unscientific the report credited to

the National population commission stating that

Nigeria’s new population stands at 198 million.

HURIWA wondered how the new figure of the national

population was arrived at when Nigeria has not

conducted head count that ought to have been done in

the year 2016.

HURIWA said by law the Country ought to conduct

regular headcount every ten years but stated that the

current administration was afraid of the potentials that

the deployment of improved infrastructure for census

can have in bringing about accuracy and exactitude

which informed the deliberate stifling of the functions of

the near moribund and politically tainted National

Population commission.

HURIWA argued that the coincidence between the

announcement of a highly frivolous and untenable new

population figure with that of INEC refusing to use

electronic voting shows two federal institutions that are

partners in the criminal collusion to undermine the

independence, credibility and integrity of the year 2019

general elections.

In a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade

Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs

Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said the

announcement by the electoral panel that electronic

voting will not be used in the 2019 general elections is

a game plan to rig the presidential poll for the

incumbent and the governorship for incumbents of all

political formations who can play ball.

Also, the Rights group warned of dire consequences

should this plot being hatched comes to fruition next

year.

HURIWA also asked Nigerians to deploy drones and

their handsets to transmit happenings at their respective

polling centers to minimise the potentials of electoral

manipulations and rigging which the current election

managers are perfecting to execute for their own selfish

and personal pecuniary aggrandizement.

“We condemn this leadership of the Independent

National Electoral Commission (INEC) for sticking to the

primitive and manipulative way of manual conduct of

elections as against global best practices and wondered

why the electoral commission had in recent times spent

billions to procure electronic voting machines.”

“We learnt authoritatively that INEC under Yakubu

Mahmood has collapsed under the heavy weight of

pressure by the political hawks in the presidency not to

deploy electronic voting machines for the purposes of

the general elections.

“This sinister plot to manipulate the actual voting

exercise by not using electronic voting system but to

adopt electronic transfer of results to rapidly issue and

annual rigged results to achieve a fait accompli should

be condemned totally.”

“INEC’s decision not to use electronic voting system is

because the officials believe that millions of voters of

northern origin maybe disenfranchised and since the

ruling party has some of her largest support base in the

North, INEC think the use of electronic voting system

may work against the incumbent president who has

indicated interest to seek re-election.”

“This decision by INEC not to use electronic voting is

primitive, unconstitutional and will adversely affect the

credibility of 2019 elections.

“Why did INEC not embarked on sensitization and

enlightenment process on the use of electronic voting

machines since two years ago but decided to wait till

now to make this odd announcement.”

HURIWA recalled that the Independent National Electoral

Commission (INEC) said it will not introduce electronic

voting for the 2019 general election.

HURIWA said the INEC’s leadership Spoke at a press

conference to mark the end of the three-day

international conference on the use of technology for

the conduct of elections in Africa, whereby the Chairman

of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said it would only

deploy technology for purposes of collating and

transmitting election results during 2019 poll.

HURIWA quoted INEC chief as stating that: “Let me say

categorically that the commission will not be deploying

technology for electronic voting in the 2019 elections,

but we will deploy the technology for collation and

transmission of election result from polling units to INEC

result collation base,” he said.

HURIWA said Yakubu, who was flanked by officials of

election management bodies from Namibia and

Belgium, further said one of the outcomes of the

conference was a decision by the electoral umpires to

work towards eliminating cases of meddlesomeness

and interferences due to the deployment of technology

during elections.

HURIWA however believe that the present leadership of

INEC is working to achieve largely a Northern regional

agenda of ensuring that the incumbent President is

manipulated back to office in 2019 in spite of

widespread disaffection and rejection of his decision to

contest for a second and final tenure last year.

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