The Independent National Electoral Commission has repeated its resolve to continue to deepen the use of technology to improve on the conduct of credible elections.
Its National Commissioner and Chairperson, Planning and Monitoring Committee, Prof. Rhoda Gumus, restated this when she received a delegation from the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) in Abuja.
On Aug. 6, 2021, INEC’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the electoral umpire would continue to deepen the use of technology in elections across the country.
He spoke at the opening of a two-day retreat for INEC officers in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
He said then that INEC did not need new laws to deploy certain technologies.
When the NSE delegation visited INEC on Friday, Gumus reiterated Yakubu’s position, stating that the role of technology in delivering free, fair, credible and widely accepted elections could not be overemphasised.
She noted that technology had brought a lot of transformation to Nigeria’s democracy and reaffirmed INEC’s determination to sustain the use of innovative technology to deepen democracy in the country.
The national commissioner recalled how the introduction of the Smart Card Reader revolutionised the conduct and credibility of elections in 2015.
She added that the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System had also eliminated malpractices in the electoral process, giving it more credibility.
“Conducting elections in this modern day has become freer, more credible, and more transparent using technology and this has come to stay,’’ Gumus stressed.
She reaffirmed that technological innovations had engendered confidence in the electoral process.
Gumus assured the visitors that she would bring to bear her expertise and experience as an engineer to add value and improve on the credibility of the electoral process.
Earlier, leader of the delegation, Chief Sokari Karimo, observed that “the electoral process in Nigeria today is a migration from the traditional analogue process of administration to a technology-driven process.’’
Karimo expressed optimism that the Nigerian electoral process would be fully automated in the near future.
“We look forward to electioneering activities in Nigeria that are completely conducted electronically and that can only be driven by engineers,’’ he said.
Karimo noted that NSE’s annual elections were conducted using technology.
“You can vote from any part of the world as long as you’re an accredited member of the NSE,’’ he said.
Karimo assured INEC of NSE’s willingness to collaborate with it to ensure that Nigeria’s elections are free, fair, credible and transparent.