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APC chieftain wants inclusion of e-voting in new electoral law 

A chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Salihu Lukman said for Nigerian electoral process to be more credible, the provision of electronic voting must be part of the Nigerian electoral laws – Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

Lukman said while the provision for the electronic transmission of election results in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill by the Senate last week is highly commendable, some of the challenges bordering on vote-buying, which is very rampant would still be there.

Lukman, Director-General,  Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) in a statement said the deployment of technology to manage the process of collation of results through electronic transmission of election results commencing with the 2023 election would be successful and make Nigeria electoral process more credible.

He however noted that with such development, the only aspect of the Nigerian election that will not be technologically driven is the actual voting and called for the provision of electronic voting opportunities as part of the Nigerian electoral laws.

Read Also: CDD wants N/ASS to pass Electoral Act with E-voting

“On Tuesday, October 12, 2021, the Nigerian Senate passed the electoral amendment bill, which among others approved electronic transmission of election results and compel all political parties in the country to use direct method of conducting party primary for the selection of candidates for electoral contests.

“No doubt, this is a groundbreaking decision given that physical process of transmitting election results from voting areas to collation centres give space for rigging… If the new electoral amendment is passed, it should be expected that introduction of technology to the process of transmission of electoral results would weaken the capacity of politicians to interfere or manipulate the election during the process of transmission of results”.

Lukman appealed to all APC leaders to return to the founding vision of the party of ensuring that every member of the party is authorised as part of the internal rule to participate in the process of candidate selection for elections.

He said as part of the compelling initiatives to return the party to its original vision, leaders of the party should conclude on issues of membership subscription and specifically take every decision about sources of funding for the party.

The APC Chieftain also said, once party funding is defined such that minimum resources needed to run party affairs are generated, remuneration and conditions of services for party leaders at all levels should be similarly defined and recommended benchmarking of party condition of service with existing conditions of public service.

Lukman suggested that the National Chairman of the party could have the same remuneration and condition as the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as provided in the 1999 Constitution as amended and other relevant provisions of other statutory bodies.

“Similarly, Deputy National Chairmen could have the same conditions as that of the Senate President, National Secretary, same conditions as that of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, other principal officers in the National Working Committee could have same conditions as Ministers while those of them that are Deputies or Assistants could have the same conditions as Ministers of State.

“Directors in the party Secretariat could have the same conditions as Permanent Secretaries. This logic can also be replicated at state and local governments levels”, he added.

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