The chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has said that the commission has employed a number of innovative approaches, including the use of technology to improve the management and conduct of elections in the country.
Specifically, the INEC chairman declared that technology has drastically reduced incidences of electoral malpractices, stressing that research has revealed that the usage of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in election has eliminated incidents of multiple registrations.
The INEC chairman made the remarks in his address on the occasion of public presentation of “Women’s Participation in the 2019 General Elections from an Accountability Perspective: Kano and Oyo Under Spotlight” by the Nigerian Women Trust Fund in Ibadan, Oyo State, yesterday.
While describing multiple registrations as one of the main political tools for rigging elections by unscrupulous and savage elements, Prof. Yakabu said a review of the ICT system in Nigeria has shown that the introduction of Electronic Voters Register (EVR), Automatic Fingerprints Identification System (AFIS) and Smart Card Reader (SCR) have reduced multiple registration and multiple voting.
The INEC chairman, who was represented by the commission’s chairman of Outreach and Partnership Committee, Dr. Adekunle Ogunmole, however acknowledged the report that Nigeria was yet to meet up with international standard for the provision of viable, successful and generally accepted electoral system of democracy due to lack of full implementation of the required electronic voting system in the country.
He expressed the hope that the full implementation of the required electronic voting system, which entails combining electronic voters register and smart card readers with election result devices that would be self-auditing and fully equipped with real time facuilities would improve election management to meet international standard.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of NWTF, Ms. Mufuliat Fijabi, explained that strategic election analysis through observation is particularly hepful in countries in which a significant proportion of the population may lack fair representation in the electoral system.
She said that “NWTF holds strongly that while women may not have been directly excluded from voting in elections, ‘practice of democracy’ nonetheless weakens women’s participation overall.”
In his remarks the Oyo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Mutiu Agboke, said the active participation of all stakeholders in the electoral process was necessary to achieve inclusion, even as he enjoined women to step advocacy for greater involvement in electoral contests.
Other dignitaries that graced the occasion, included Oyo State Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mrs. Dolapo Dosunmu; INEC Administrative Secretary for Kano State, Jibril Adamu Musa; Toun Okenwale Sonaiya and Saudatu Mahdi.