Jonathan Calls For Electronic Voting In Nigeria

A former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has advocated that Nigeria must embrace electronic voting to sustain its democratic values. 

The former President disclosed this on Monday at a Lecture/Book Presentation to mark the Second Term Inauguration of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, in Port Harcourt.

Dr. Jonathan said that if democracy must endure, the democratic process must be developed in a way that people will have confidence in the electoral process. 

He noted that the African Continent must come up with a minimum standard for the establishment of the Election Management Body.

Dr. Jonathan said for the purpose of confidence building for credible elections, no single person should have the power to constitute the Election Management Body. 

He said: “We must come up with new standards for constituting our election management body in a way that people will have confidence.  

I believe in some quarters what they do is that a body of people constitute the Election Management Body.  

It is not in the hands of one person. “When you leave such responsibility in the hands of a politician, no matter how good the person is, there will be the tendency for people to suspect that the right thing is not done. 

When people don’t have confidence in the system, whatever they do, it is difficult for the people to accept.” According to him, 

“The continental body, African Union, should come up with a minimum standard across Africa for constituting Electoral Management Body”. 

He added that no single official should have the power to appoint all the Election Petition Tribunals as this erodes confidence in the system. 

“Also, the Judicial process where one person constitutes all the election tribunals to hear petitions is not right. 

It is difficult in a democracy for somebody to be extremely neutral. “In one way or the other, somebody close to you will be in one party or the other. 

The only way to be above is to make sure that one person does not have all the powers to constitute tribunals to listen to all cases”, he said. 

The former President called for the enthronement of independent security agencies that will provide security during elections. 

“The African Union must come up with a code of conduct for security operatives that participate in elections.  What happened in Rivers State, in a video being circulated where women were dragging soldiers down from walls was a very sorry sight. 

When these things are being discussed outside the country, if you are a Nigerian, you feel so ashamed,” he noted. 

He called on Parliamentarians to work towards modifying National Laws to ensure that what happened in 2019 is not repeated in 2023. 

In his remarks, Governor Wike decried the level of politicisation of the governance process in the country. Governor Wike said that insecurity continues to thrive in the country because the nation has refused to listen to the cries for justice. 

The governor said that he was persuaded to approve the writing of the book because books document and educate people for the development of the society. 

The guest lecturer, Professor Anya O. Anya in a paper titled: “Re-imagining Nigeria: The Imperative of Democracy, Values, Peace and National Development in the New Nigeria,” said Nigeria is a country under siege and its people and leaders are in denial. 

Prof. Anya said ultimately the forces of peace will prevail despite the insecurity in different parts of the country. He said God will manifest in the end on behalf of Nigerians and stop the high level of insecurity. 

He urged Governor Wike to continue to work for the peace of Rivers state and Nigeria.


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