By Joy Odor Abuja
The Senator, representing Bauchi South Senatorial District, Senator Lawal Gumau has opined that Nigeria is not ripe for transmitting election results electronically ahead of 2023 General Elections, saying he do not support the move.
Senator Gumau made his view clear while speaking to newsmen in Abuja on Friday shortly after the screening of Ms Lauretta Onochie, a National Commissioner nominee for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), by Senate Committee on INEC.
Senator Gumau maintained that he is not in support of electronic transmission of result in 2023 general elections expect INEC are equipped and ready to secure the website that nobody can hack.
According to him, results should be announced at the Polling Units and Collation Centres where applicable. Warning Nigerians not to start what they cannot do.
“If we say 2023 we are going to do it electronically, is it possible. Everybody knows that it is only the person with the highest number of votes that will get it.
“So results should be announced at the Polling Units and Collation Centres where applicable. “Let us not start what we cannot do.
“We are talking of transmitting results to the announcement centres. If we say 2023, we are going do it electronically, fear God. Is it possible.
“Even knows that it is only the highest bidder that will get it. So results should be announced at the voting centre.
“Even that we are not perfect, you see fighting. If you say all polling units their results will be transmitted electronically. Let us not start what we cannot do.
“We are not even perfect in the one we are doing. Somebody will hack everything and declare his present.
“So I’m not in support of electronic transmission of result. We are not ready. It is the best if we are equipped and ready to secure the website, that nobody can hack” Senator Gumau stressed.
It would be recalled that there were speculations in some quarters that the National Assembly was on the verge of altering part of the Electoral Act which would make it possible for election results to be transmitted electronically.
On the outcome of the screening of a National Commissioner nominee for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Ms Lauretta Onochie, Senator Gumau said his out burst during the screening of Ms Onochie was due to injustice to her.
According to him, there were many other Commissioners screened but none of them were asked which party they belong to, why would the Committee ask Onochie.
“If the justice is that don’t screen her, screen her out. If the justice is allow her to get the position, that is where I support.
“I like seeing myself fighting for justice whenever there is injustice. I want to be a bridge-builder so that justice must exist.
“Whether we like it or not, a national commissioner must come from south-south and it is the same President that will appoint him.
“President Buhari appointed Onochie, we can’t see Onochie as a northerner or as southerner we have to see Onochie as a presidential nominee.
“In our duties as legislators, we work with the law and not with any member’s sentiment, not with CSO’s sentiments.
“I’m supporting the law. If the law says Onochie should not go in as INEC commissioner, that is my position.”
The nomination of Onochie had triggered an outcry from opposition parties, the media and some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
The CSOs had petitioned the Senate Committee on INEC, alleging that Onochie was a card-carrying member of a political party, hence not qualified to be appointed as an INEC national commissioner.
The petitioners had alleged that her nomination negated sections of the 1999 Constitution and Federal Character principles
We must work with the law. It is our inability to work with the law that creates a lot of problems for this country.
The law is okay. It is we that operate the law that we are not okay.
I’m talking about Onochie to make her an INEC commissioner. I’m just saying justice must be done to her.
at the Senate on Thursday, Onochie, currently a Senior Special Assistant to the President, disavowed all the registered political parties in the country.
At the screening of nominees
denied membership of any political party in Nigeria.
Onochie was nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari to represent Delta in the commission.