The 2023 general elections will be the best exercise ever conducted in Nigeria, Kwara State Resident Electoral Commisssioner (REC), Mallam Garba Attahiru, has said.
Attahiru spoke in Ilorin, Kwara State capital on Monday at a lecture organised by the Michael Imoudu Institute For Labour Studies (MINILS) to mark this year’s Democracy Day.
The REC said that technology that will be deployed by the Independent National Electoral Commisssion (INEC) for the conduct of next year’s elections will ensure transparency of the entire process.
Attahiru hinted that the electronic transmission of election results will make it difficult for any collation officer to tamper with the original results of elections recorded at the polling units.
He said the last governorship election in Edo State showed how effective technology could be in checkmating rigging of elections.
“We have even improved on the technology deployed during the last Edo State governorship election and this will ensue transparency in the electoral processes,” the REC stated.
Attahiru also warned politicians against buying permanent voters cards (PVCs), adding that, “You can buy PVCs, but you can’t use them. Technology has been put in place to detect multiple registrations. We have 19,000 multiple registrations in Kwara State so far. Fifty percent of those who registered for PVCs between June and December were multiple registrations. The fine for multiple registration is one year imprisonment or N1m fine or both .
Those people cannot get their PVCs.
“The best election that Nigeria will ever conduct is 2023 elections. This is because of technology. Collation officers cannot tamper with the election results any longer. We will transmit results electronically. In 2019, we relied on the integrity of the retuning officers and other electoral officers for a transparent election.”
Earlier, the director-general of MINILS, Comrade Issa Aremu, congratulated President Muhamadu Buhari and Nigerians over the 22 years of uninterrupted democratic rule in the country since May 29, 1999.
Aremu also praised Buhari, whom he said “courageously redressed the historic injustice of the criminal annulment of June June 12th of 1993. He also rightly conferred posthumous honours on Chief MKO Abiola and others.”
The DG, who noted that Nigerians in the last two decades have made the point that votes and votes count were the desirable ways for ensuring good governance, commended INEC which despite the “imperfect politically environment” was improving on the electoral process to make elections increasingly credible.
He said MINILS was concerned about democracy and democratic process because the institution itself is an institutional democracy dividend.