Former deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who represents Enugu West in the National Assembly, has said he is optimistic about the electronic transmission of results in the 2023 general elections.
A statement issued by the senator’s special adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu, insisted that it was imperative to further put the record straight and restate his faith that electronic transmission of results will still be part of the 2023 general election.
According to him, Ekweremadu’s unavailability at Senate plenary on the fateful day does not diminish in any way his credentials in standing to be counted on the side of democracy.
He further maintained that his unavailability neither shrunk his role and doggedness in helping to navigate and push the electronic transmission of result and other key provisions through various landmines at the level of the Joint Technical Committee on the Repeal and Re-enactment of the Electoral Act and the Joint NASS Committee on INEC where he is a member.
“These efforts are well reorganised by the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), civil society organisations, PDP NASS Caucus, and the international community.
“It is on record that Section 52 (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 provided that “The use of electronic voting machines for the time being is prohibited”.
But as Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, who also helped to pilot all the electoral reforms currently enjoyed in the country, Ekweremadu was at the vanguard of the amendment to the Electoral Act ahead of the 2015 elections to provide for electronic voting, which still remains the law in Nigeria.
“This and other legislative interventions and frameworks co-piloted by Ekweremadu over the years led to the introduction of the card reader, electronic voter register, and the test-run of electronic transmission of results in the last Ondo and Edo State governorship elections, which Ekweremadu was present and monitored the election in Edo.
“Other key electoral reforms achieved under Ekweremadu’s watch include amendment to Sections 81, 84, and 160 of the Constitution in 2010 to grant INEC financial and administrative independence. Unlike previously when INEC was at the mercy of the Presidency and cleared key decisions with it, Section 160 was amended to expressly provide that in the case of INEC, its “powers to make its own rules or otherwise regulate its own procedure shall not be subject to the approval of the presiden,” he said.t