Following the Senate’s adoption of the Conference Committee report on electronic transmission of election results during today’s plenary, former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has insinuated that he played a part in the sudden reversal.
Ekweremadu said the Senate’s action justified his assurances to Nigerians in July that all hope was not lost for electronic transmission of 2023 election results despite the initial setback.
In a statement by his media aide, Uche Anichukwu, Ekweremadu said: “I want to specially commend the Senate for setting aside narrow partisan interests to correct the mistake of July 15, 2021 by reversing itself on the issue of electronic transmission of election results.
“This clause, though not originally part of the Bill, was introduced by the Joint National Assembly Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission, which I am part of, to save the nation the troubles of ballot box snatching, electoral violence, and manipulations that happen between the polling booth and collation centres.
“Although, I was representing Nigeria at an international parliamentary session in Montenegro and therefore unavoidably absent during the passage of the Bill in July, I had assured Nigerians that we would work with the progressives across party lines to dialogue with our colleagues and other critical stakeholders to ensure that electronic transmission of results was restored in the Bill.
“It is, therefore, heart-warming that my confidence in the capacity of my colleagues to dialogue and rise above narrow partisan interest on this matter was not misplaced.
“I must also commend the Civil Society Organisations and Nigerians for standing up for what is right for the nation and our democracy”.
It is recalled that Ekweremadu had in a statement by his media aide on July 17, 2021 assured Nigerians that the “results of the 2023 elections will ultimately be electronically transmitted because it is the best way to go”.
Meanwhile, the Senate Spokesperson, Senator Ajibola Bashir, in a media briefing after Tuesday’s session clarified that political parties would henceforth conduct direct primaries for their aspirants with full supervision of INEC officials.
According to him, the passage of clause 87 in the Electoral Amendment Act was to deepen the process of conducting party primaries in a manner that pretenders willing not tamper with the processes.