- The rejection of electronic transmission of election results by the National Assembly Is still generating reactions
- The lawmakers had rejected the exercise which was contained in the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill
- A pro-democracy group in Nigeria wants the lawmakers’ given visa sanctions by the United States government
FCT, Abuja – A group known as Democracy Vanguard of Nigeria in Diaspora (DVND) has written a letter to the United States of America through its Nigerian ambassador, Mary Beth Leonard, asking for a visa ban on all the senators who voted against the electronic transmission of election results.
The eighty senators included 52 that voted against the bill and the 28 senators that were absent at the red chamber on the voting day.
Group knocks NASS in scathing letter
In a statement sent to Legit.ng on Tuesday, by the DVND president, Timothy Sule, the group also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to withhold assent on any electoral act bill that failed to incorporate electronic voting, order of elections to start with governorship elections.
Others copied in the letter dated Sunday, July 18, include: United States Secretary of State, Secretary Anthony J. Blinken, Acting Assistant Secretary Ambassador Robert F. Godec, and Deputy Assistant Secretary Akunna E. Cook.
The statement explained that the National Assembly in a bid to enact and amend the Electoral Act sought to alter clause 52 (3) of the proposed Electoral Act to allow the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to approve that, there is a good network across the states for the adoption of electronic voting and transmission of election results.
According to the letter, the action is shameful, disdainful, and completely reprehensible, adding that it smacks a clear contempt for the Nigerian people.
The group said:
“We call on the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Canada, African Union, and all ally countries to take urgent actions to nip this brewing conflagration in the bud before it consumes the nation and creates a massive refugee crisis in the world.
“We at Democracy Vanguard of Nigeria in Diaspora (DVND) are willing to be of assistance where applicable to help realize our request for the protection of democratic norms and the sanctity of all electoral processes in Nigeria.”
Governor Okowa speaks on NASS stance
Meanwhile, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, on Monday, July 19 decried the National Assembly’s rejection of electronic transmission of elections results through the votes of most members of both chambers of the parliament against that clause in the Electoral Act.
Speaking when he received the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Delta state, Pastor Monday Udoh-Tom, and his management team on an advocacy visit, Okowa said that 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.
Recall that INEC had insisted that it has the capacity to transmit election results electronically.
Festus Okoye, the INEC national commissioner and chairman (Information and voter education committee) made this known.
Okoye said that the NCC and telecommunication committees have also okayed its e-transmission capacity.