By; JULIANA KATUNG, Kaduna.
The need for Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to get its right in 2019 elections by improving on card reader technology of adopting the BVN process used by the banks of ensuring every legible voters figure print is captured once has been emphasized.
The Executive Director of League of Democratic women, Rebeca Bako John made the assertion on Monday at a town hall meeting organized by Legal Awareness for Nigeria on findings of the 2015 national and state elections, saying despite the use of the card reader in the last elections, there were still cases of multiple voting, under age, among others, hence the need for INEC to improve on the technology in order to ensure a credible election come 2019.
According to her, the program which is in collaboration with the ACTIONAID under the strengthening citizens engagement in the electoral process project is her NGO’s effort to estimate the public particularly their partners who are selected from six Local Governments of Kaduna State about the findings of the survey carried out on the 2015 elections in order to come up with the way forward as the council poll is forthcoming.
The Director said that the survey revealed that Nigerians are ready for electronic voting technology in future elections and that the failure of card reader on some of the polling units in last elections was tolerated by Nigerians because it was considered as a test case hoping to see an improved version in the future.
She also added that in the survey, 2015 election witness the lowest turned out of voters since the birth of democracy in 1999.
She said there was need for polical parties, INEC, civil society organizations to embark on serious public education on electoral process now for electorates in order to help them to know their civil right as well as educate them on the responsibility of every political office to enable them hold their representatives in governance responsible when the fail to deliver.
She also stressed the need for INEC and SIECOM to come up with strategies that will encourage the electorates to come out in mass and vote saying that many were disappointed where elections were canceled in some areas without concrete reason.
Mrs. John however called on the electorates not to be aparthetic as result of the bad experiences in last elections but urged them to always come out and exercise their civil rights, adding that, that is the only way they will vote the right people into offices.
The Executive Director said that as part of its bid in encouraging electorates participation, her NGO has conducted a civil education in the six local governments represented in the town hall meeting and were selected from three communities of each local council, which included, Zango Kataf, Kajuru, Sangal, Lere, Sabo Gari and Kaduna North.
In her remark the chairman of Kaduna State Independent
Electoral Commission KADSIECOM Dr. Saratu Dikko Audu said the commission will soon conduct the local government election in the 23th councils in the state.
According to her, the commission is working hard by meeting with relevant stakeholders in the state to ensure a fair, free and credible election.
Also the representative of All Progressive Change (APC) Kaduna State chapter, Hajiya Halima assured of her party’s support to ensure free, fair and credible forthcoming local government election in the State.