The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has critiqued the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Assembly (NASS) over their opposition to the electronic transmission of election results.
This came in the wake of a claim by the NCC that the e-transmission was impossible due to poor network coverage across the country.
Nick Dazung, INEC Director of Publicity and Voter Education, made this stance known on Friday during a guest appearance on African Independent Television (AIT) breakfast programme ‘Kakaaki’.
Dazung faulted a claim by the NCC official who appeared before the House of Representatives as “blatant lie”.
The INEC Director further expressed the disappointment of the Commission at the stance of NCC considering it already has the capacity to transmit election electronically since 2018.
“In January 2018, INEC approached NCC that it wants a technological-driven Commission and both have been working closely to deliver free, fair and credible elections in our country for the benefit of our citizens.
“They are also aware that two network providers- MTN and Airtel have assisted JAMB conduct their examinations across Nigeria. So INEC is still wondering why NCC has suddenly made a U-turn that there is not enough network coverage in every part of Nigeria,” he said.
In response to fears about hacking, the Directors stated that “there is no website that is not prone to attack by hackers even in the most advanced nations, but Nigerians should be rest assured that INEC has what it takes to fight off hackers and the Commission is well prepared to safeguard its websites against hackers.”
“As a patriotic Nigerian who wishes his country well, I am using this medium to plead to the Conference Committee of NASS to look at the bigger picture, and to consider the future of our nation to approve the electronic transmission of results in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
“I also want NASS members to think like “Statesmen”, they should think about the future not about the next election. Let us always look at the bigger picture. It pains INEC that beneficiaries of transparent elections are in the forefront of working to weaken the Commission by asking INEC to share its powers with other agencies or take permission from another agency before performing its statutory functions guaranteed by the Constitution of Nigeria.”