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Social Development Integrated Centre, SDIC, and its affiliates have condemned the orchestrated plot against the electronic transmission of votes by anti-democratic forces.

A press statement signed by the chairpersons of SDIC, Vivian Bellonwu, Environmental Rights Action, Chima Williams, Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, Styven Obodoekwe, and Campaign for Transformative Governance, Jaye Gaskia, yesterday in Abuja, flayed the actions of the Director-General of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Professor Umaru Danbatta who it alleged unleashed groundless fabrications and deliberate falsehood on the floor of the National Assembly.

They said his action was to take down the proposed electronic transmission of votes which is pivotal to credible elections in Nigeria, adding that the NCC official, in his blind quest to achieve an insidious agenda, contradicted all factual and evidential prognosis that electoral votes can be effectively transmitted electronically.

‘‘The benefits of electronic transmission of votes cannot be over-emphasized. It reduces credibility issues associated with manual transmission of voting tallies, reduces costs and associated risks of officials handling manual transmission.

‘‘Globally, countries and enduring democracies have toed this line of practice. In Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has courageously stated that votes can be transmitted electronically and that it has the capacity to do so.’’

In view of this they urged ‘‘the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, to arrest, investigate and prosecute all NCC officials who participated in this ignominious perfidy on the floor of the National Assembly including external collaborators, the IGP must within 14 days carry out the aforementioned, failure of which Nigerians will be mobilized to compel him to act.’’

Other demands include that “President Muhammadu Buhari should only give assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021 after the deletion of the proviso to Section 52(2) that requires transmission of election results by INEC to be subjected to clearance by NCC and the National Assembly, adding that it erodes the independence of the electoral body and would lead to crisis. The deletion of Sections 65 and 88 completely monetized the electoral process, among others.’’

The statement was endorsed by 124 other civil society groups.


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