Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has warned that the rejection of electronic transmission of election results by the National Assembly through votes of most members of both chambers of the parliament against that clause in the Electoral Act, could deter the country’s effort at attracting Foreign Direct Investments, FDIs.
Okowa, when he received the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in the state, Monday Udoh-Tom, and his management team on an advocacy visit on Continuous Voter Registration, CVR, said the lawmakers’ action could be interpreted that there was a plan to rig elections.
He, however, commended Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for its efforts at ensuring the credibility of the electoral process and for declaring that it had the capacity to transmit results electronically.
He said: “We 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 ruly 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 some 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.”
Okowa assured that he would make a broadcast to sensitise the people and various groups in the state, religious leaders and traditional rulers on the ongoing CVR.
He said: “We will do a state broadcast and we will engage various stakeholders in the state to ensure that they mobilise themselves, particularly the young ones, who were not up to the age of registration as at the last time it was done.
“We need to disabuse the minds of Nigerians and the process starts from now to ensure that we now have a credible electoral process.”
Earlier, Udoh-Tom thanked the governor for ensuring the security of INEC’s staff and assets during the attacks on government institutions by gunmen, adding that from July 26, 2021, INEC would deploy physical registration for those who could not register through the online facility.