PSA: National Electoral Reform Association
We the National Electoral Reform Association, having witnessed a second consecutive postponement of Nigeria’s General Election have decided to speak up.
Enough is enough of this nonsense. The time has come for a total overhaul and reform of Nigeria’s Electoral Process.
Firstly, why do we have two days dedicated to elections that can be held on one day? Doesn’t common sense tell all stakeholders that whichever election comes second will only be a formality as its result will mirror that of the first?
In other serious African countries, all elections hold on the same day while in more advanced countries, other minor and minute elections hold concurrently with the Presidential Election. Why is ours so different?
Secondly, why does the nation have to be shut down at election time? It is like the government is tempting fate by ensuring everyone has nothing else to do but to vote on said day. Do you know what is said about “idle hands“???
Thirdly, when will we embrace electronic voting? I am a proponent of electronic voting. If not for any other reason, other than to discourage people from snatching ballot boxes.
The image of one thug, singularly carting away two electoral boxes during the 2015 election is seared so deep in my brain. I doubt if I’ll ever forget it.
For goodness sake, why is he carrying two boxes while his colleague accompany him empty-handed? Is he that good at his job or is he just being greedy? Which box will other snatchers pick when they come around to the polling station? Most important of all, what does he plan to do with two election boxes? Does he still have them at his house until now?
At least, an electronic voting machine can be bugged, its contents can still be transmitted remotely, and its location can be found and the machine recovered if stolen.
The fourth reform is to allow for diaspora voting. The contribution of Nigerians in diaspora to the economy of Nigeria should at this time have earned them a say in determining who governs Nigeria. If the government thinks otherwise, let Nigerians in diaspora refuse to send a penny to Nigeria for one year and let’s measure the impact.
A more important reform is changing the voting pattern altogether. INEC should find a way to incorporate Social Media Voting on Election Day.
If Nigerian youths could choose between Buhari and Atiku by Retweeting or Liking a tweet, the voter turnout/participation will be better.
Another reform will bring a change in how election results are announced. The man-hours wasted collectively as a nation, as well as the tension involved in watching Professor Attahiru Jega announce the results of the 2015 Presidential Election was just too palpable.
For the 2019 Election, Mahmood Yakubu only need to announce the Top 5. Everyone else can go on Linda Ikeji or INEC’s Instagram and Facebook page to see the detailed result.
We the National Electoral Reform Association believe that with these measures put in place, the election will be transparent, free, fair and credible.