From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Former Secretary General of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) Mr Anthony Sani has expressed fear that electronic transmission of votes in the 2023 general elections risks being hijacked by hackers if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) does not put in place measures to mitigate the risk.
In a chat with Daily Sun, Sani noted that the menace of electoral interference by hackers is a challenge across the world, a problem faced by even the most developed countries, much less Nigeria.
‘My take on the harmonised version of the electoral bill stems from the freedom given to INEC to determine where and when to use electronic voting without resort to NCC. That is as it should be for the independence of INEC to prevail and confer credibility to the elections,’ Sani stated.
‘Also, the fact that INEC has the right to use electronic and manual transmissions, as the case may be, has removed the fear that voters in 50% of the polling units not covered by internet coverage would not be short-changed.
‘What is left is for INEC to put up a mechanism that will reduce hacking, considering even the developed nations are still battling with challenges posed by the hacking of electoral processes.
‘We are living witness to how the opposition party bandied results of last presidential election unknown to INEC during the proceedings of last presidential election tribunal,’ Sani said.
The ex-ACF scribe also spoke on direct primaries, saying: ‘The endorsement of direct primaries is heartening in the sense that it will improve internal democracy in political parties by allowing party members to participate in party primaries and own the ensuing results, thereby reducing the incidence of parallel primaries, kleptocracy and plutocracy.
‘This is because it is not easy to bribe all party members for direct party primaries in the manner party delegates are often bribed during indirect party primaries.’
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