Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said that the huge cost in acquiring the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) which were used to conduct the last local government election, has paid off in terms of enthroning transparent election in Kaduna state.
The governor who stated that the EVMs cost about N2 billion when they were acquired in 2017, have also restored confidence of the electorate in the ballot box, knowing that their votes will ultimately count.
El-Rufai further said that ‘’the local government election has shown that Kaduna state voters are sophisticated and they can choose whoever they believe is the best candidate, irrespective of party affiliations.’’
The governor who was fielding questions from select Kaduna-based broadcast journalists in Hausa, said that ‘’the election results have put politicians on notice, to desist from foisting unpopular candidates on the electorate, or those who didn’t even win the primaries.’’
According to him, no price is too much to pay towards deepening democracy and enthroning a free and fair electoral process, adding that electronic voting has also solved the huge cost of printing ballot papers.
‘’The beauty of the Electronic Voting Machines is that they can be used for other elections once you upgrade the software and re-configure the machine. Right now, two states have approached KAD-SIECOM to hire our machines for their own elections,’’ the governor revealed.
El-Rufai pointed out that the success of electronic voting in Kaduna state has began to have a domino effect in other states of the country because they also want to conduct credible elections.
‘’Most politicians want to rig elections and win every available seat but as leaders, we must put an end to this. You don’t have to win everything; once you get 51% of the seats, it is okay.
‘’When we introduced electronic voting in 2018, we didn’t care whether or not we win the local government election. All we wanted was a credible election and we succeeded in conducting a free and fair election as well as winning most of the local governments in Kaduna state,’’ he said.