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Analysis: How Others Voted As Two South East Senators Vote Against Electronic Transmission Of Results

It made headlines days ago that majority of the Senators voted against electronic transmit election results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the coming polls.

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That development became a major issue of national discourse as many Nigerians were shocked that their representatives (Senators) voted against that innovation which is seen as a good step to improve the electoral process and deepen democracy in Nigeria as far as elections are concerned. Majority of the Senators that voted against it are members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and a good number of them are from the Northern part of the country. One of the major reason given by the Senators from the North is that network coverage is very poor in their areas which will affect the process. Others even claimed that there is no network that can facilitate the electronic transmission of results.

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However, apart from Senators from the North, there were also Senators from the South who voted against the electronic transmission of results. Surprisingly, there were two Senators from the South East who voted against it too. What could be the reason why they voted against it? It is clear that most states in the South are not battling with the problem of poor network coverage like the North.

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Most importantly, South East has good network coverage with many telecoms operators, radio and TV stations operating very well due to good network coverage in the states that make up the zone. Well, this article discusses the two South East Senators that voted against the electronic transmission of results by INEC according to a report by News Direct.

Senator Orji Uzor Kalu: Abia North.

Kalu represents Abia North Senatorial District. He happens to be the only Senator from Abia that belongs to the ruling APC. As revealed by the report that shows the voting pattern by Senators, the lawmakers simply voted along party lines. 

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Abia is not a state that lacks network coverage for both phones, radio and TV. It happened that Kalu was the only only Senator from Abia that voted against the electronic transmission of results. This is because the other two Senators from the same Abia State, Senator TA Orji (Abia Central) and Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe did not vote against it like Kalu did. Orji and Abaribe are members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The figures revealed that majority of PDP Senators voted in support of the electronic transmission of results. Although, Orji abstained while Abaribe voted in support of the electronic transmission of results.

Image credit: ABN TV

Senator Frank Ibezim: Imo North.

Senator Ibezim was lucky to finally emerge the rightful winner of the Imo North Senate seat after a long drawn legal battle that ensued. During the voting, Ibezim followed suit as he voted against the electronic transmission of results just like majority of other APC Senators did.

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Imo State is one of the most developed States in the South East with the basic amenities including good network coverage. Imo is also not among the states that have poor network as many telecoms masts, radio, Tv stations and other broadband network providers operate very well. It is surprising that Ibezim voted against it but going by the voting pattern which followed party lines, one may see reasons to be quiet.

Image credit: The Nigerian Voice

Moreover, other Senators from the same Imo did not vote against the electronic transmission of results. While Ibezim’s fellow APC Senator from Imo, Senator Rochas Okorocha (Imo West) abstained from voting, Senator Ezenwa Francis Onyewuchi (Imo East) of PDP voted in support of the move for INEC to transmit election results electronically. 

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From the above analysis, it means that out of the three Senators from the two South East States of Abia and Imo, only two voted against the electronic transmission of results. In all, out of fifteen Senators from the five South East States, only the same two voted against electronic transmission of results by INEC while the remaining ones voted in support of it with only few of them choosing to abstain. That sends the message that it has little or nothing to do with poor network. Why then did those ones choose to vote against it?

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