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Opinion: On E-Transmission Of Result By INEC – Daser David

Written by on July 18, 2021

By Daser David

It is a great step forward to transmit result electronically. I will particularly push for it. However, the internet penetration rate in Nigeria is still at between 30% to 50%. Meaning we will have a huge gap of exclusion. It means communities like Kagu (my village) might not be able to transmit result or so we may have to travel to Kerang or Panyam (some kilometres away) where we can have network before we can transmit. A lot can happen on the road.

While this may be a developmental problem, it is something we should also not neglect in the current discourse of electronic transmission.

That notwithstanding, there are political components associated with this. I can tell that more of the people who are clamouring and agitating for this are folks who have run the Nigerian government in the past but who could not do this when they were supposed to do it.

The rest of us who genuinely want this are the other citizens.

The Plateau state southern election witnessed the electronic transmission. They were scanned documents (result sheets), some were scanned properly while others weren’t. In one of the polling units, something else was transmitted, looked like a birth certificate or so. I perused the entire documents during the election. The question is, should textual or imagery data (with OCR) be transmitted? As an IT person, let me clarify, electronic or not, once the mind isn’t made up yet, this will not herald progress. Electronic systems are even the most vulnerable. The safest computers are once totally off and unplugged to power.

Let’s agitate for internet broadband penetration as a precursor for digital transmission. If we can make this a bait, then the future can trigger a positive conversation towards result transmission. Let’s eliminate the excuses first or look at Innovation that supports our current realities.

Something tells me, if APC loses power and say PNP gets in, we will still be here arguing and making comments. The truth is, electronic transmission if done properly will help mitigate electoral fraud. But the mind first.

Politics is a game of diverse interest. The question to be asked is these vested interests are deeply buried under a common national interest.

David Daser is the Director of the Plateau State Information and Communication Technology Development Agency

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