Delta State governor Ifeanyi Okowa has warned that the rejection of electronic transmission of election results could hinder the country’s efforts at attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).
His warning was prompted by the National Assembly’s rejection of electronic transmission of elections results in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
While receiving the state’s resident electoral commissioner (REC), Pastor Monday Udoh-Tom and his management team on Monday during an advocacy visit on Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), Okowa said the lawmakers’ action could be interpreted to mean that there is a plan to rig future elections.
He, however, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its efforts at ensuring the credibility of the electoral process and for declaring that it had capacity to transmit results electronically.
According to him, Nigerians must truly appreciate INEC for the fact that on a daily basis they are thinking of the best ways to move our electoral system forward such that we are able to minimise all possibilities of fraud.
“Once Nigerians trust our electoral process, many Nigerians will come out to register and vote during elections. We need to change the narrative of many Nigerians that whether they vote or not, results will still come out the way they want it.
“I want to specially congratulate the INEC chairman for coming out to insist that INEC has the capacity to truly transmit election results and I do not see any reason why any Nigerian would want to vote for non-transmission of election results.
“It’s actually very wrong. It gives the people the impression that people are out to rig elections from day one. It’s not the best for us as a nation and it sends wrong communication.
“It’s not just good for our economy and our image as a nation, because until people learn to trust our electoral processes, it will be difficult for people to come in and do business with us.
“Foreign direct investments cannot come to a nation where they cannot trust our electoral processes. It is doable and possible. We saw it with Edo State election and I believe that the processes and technology being put in place will help to make it work.
“We pray and plan for a free process and better improvement with every election that will come even before the general elections in 2023.
“The elections that will come before 2023 will be a test to what we can be looking forward to in 2023 and I believe INEC will do their best,” he said.
Earlier, the REC expressed appreciation to the governor for ensuring security of INEC’s staff and assets during the attacks on government institutions by unknown gunmen.
He said that from July 26, INEC would deploy physical registration for those who could not register through the online facility.