CHANGING THE ORDERS OF 2019 ELECTIONS: IS THE CARD READER NOT THE MAIN TARGET?
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» » CHANGING THE ORDERS OF 2019 ELECTIONS: IS THE CARD READER NOT THE MAIN TARGET?

Monday, 5 February 2018

CHANGING THE ORDERS OF 2019 ELECTIONS: IS THE CARD READER NOT THE MAIN TARGET?




To begin with, only 35 members amended the Electoral Act instead of the at least 120 out of the total 360 required by Order 4, Rule 1 of the House Standing Orders. Some people might look at the recent amendment on changing the  Orders of 2019 elections as a way of allowing candidates to "win" elections on their "merit" or "popularity "not by relying on the "influence" or popularity of a particular candidate. In my insinuation, there is another dimension to it. Please come with me!

In my opinion, the National Assembly should have made the inclusion of Card Reader Technology or the use of technology in general, in our electoral process as  its first priority.

The 2015 General elections though not perfect , but has been widely adjudged as the most credible election in the 4th Republic courtesy of the Card Reader Technology. In my view, credible election is the surest way of having good governance as such it is more important in a democracy than any other thing. In my understanding, the recent amendment is purely targeted at sabotaging the inclusion of Card Reader Technology or the use of technology in our electoral process.

In 2015 many alleged election "riggers" who were taken to court on the allegations of rigging by sabotaging the Card Reader Technology escaped justice simply because neither the 1999 constitution as amended nor the 2010 Electoral Act as amended recognize the Card Reader Technology.

In my prediction, at the end of all the amendments including the recognition of the Card Reader Technology. It will be very difficult for the President to sign the new amendment knowing full well that there is a Supreme Court Judgement which conferred powers to INEC to issue Guidelines and Orders of elections.

To this end, the enemies of credible elections would have succeeded.Those who are not comfortable with the Card Reader Technology have been plotting against it day and night. It is my belief that, those people might have concluded a very long time ago that the president may not "sign" it before including the said "clause" in a controversial manner. Why only 35 members present when the amendment was made?  Is the quorum not 120 members? Can it stand?

More so, on the issue of changing the Orders of elections , others might look at it from the "cost" implication angle, which means that if the country spent about N100billion to conduct the 2015 General Elections with only 2 sets of elections and lower inflation rate, the country might need up to about N500billion to conduct 4 sets of elections. Some might argue that the security personnel will also be overstretched.

Whichever way one looks at it, the president may have enough reason not to "assent" the new amendment of the Electoral Act to which elections "riggers" will continue to rejoice.

May election riggers not find it easy.




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