After all the clamouring for modern technologies to be incorporated into the electioneering process, especially in the transmission of results, the house of representatives and the senate has now agreed on it. This implies, results will be sent electronically and not transported by INEC officials.
The house of representatives which is the lower chamber in Nigeria's bicameral legislature, okayed this development and passed the bill, and the Senate, the upper chamber have done the same. Though there are minor differences in the bills both houses passed, the issue of electronic transmission of results has become a reality.
Recall that the INEC and Nigerians had asked for election results to be transmitted electronically. This is because of the various complications that arise from the manual transmission by INEC officials, who are often robbed of the results or threatened on their way, leading to compromised results.
With this new development, it is safe to say that Nigerians and the democracy of the land just scored a big win.
Now that this has become a possibility, what is next?.
For INEC officials.
They will now have it easier. All the risks associated with the manual transmission will be a thing of the past.
Nigerians will now rest easy, as regards the accuracy of results. For long they have lamented results increasing or decreasing after voting, now, that will be difficult. Given everyone will be present as results are being transmitted, transparency will be easier to achieve now.
For those looking to rig elections.
For those who are up to no good regarding elections, it is likely the end of the road. The cases of manipulating results afterwards to favour certain individuals will be much more difficult now. Technically, mischievous individuals who thrive off of rigging and manipulating results will have a hard time.
Though there are concerns about adequate network coverage to facilitate this, it is a welcome development towards ensuring free and fair elections.
The house of assembly also need to convene and iron out their areas of disagreement on the bill.
Nigeria has the capacity to start and sustain a complete technology based election. This is what is next.
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