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Electronic Votes: ERA, Social Action, others ask NASS to blacklist NCC

The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Social Action, Center for Environment Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) and the Campaign for Transformative Governance, and other 124 groups have demanded the sanction of the National Communication Commission (NCC) for misleading the National Assembly on the possibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to electronically transmit voting results.

The groups at a press conference decried the attempt by the NCC to allow the use of electronic transmission of election results. According to the groups, “Credible elections not just elections, are at the heart of democracy and so does any threat to this portend not just great danger, but risk to the sustenance of the said democracy. This threat cum risk patently extends to the stability, peace, and security of the country itself.

“The orchestrated plot against the electronic transmission of votes in Nigeria by anti-democratic elements who have no iota of love or interest of Nigeria or the common man at heart and being arrow-headed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is a case in point that aptly captures this threat-scenario.

“Nigerians watched in awe as officials of the NCC, including ranking ones; its Executive Vice Chairman, Prof Umaru Danbatta and Executive Director, Maska Ubiale, who ordinarily were expected to know better and act with greater sense of responsibility and patriotism, took to the floor of the National Assembly to unleash a rehearse of groundless fabrications, deliberate falsehoods, including self-contradictions with the sole purpose of taking down proposed electronic transmission of votes, a key and critical element pivotal to credible elections in Nigeria and of which the National Assembly had slated for deliberation and passage. The N.C.C officials, in their blind quest to achieve their insidious agenda, contradicted all factual and evidential prognosis, data, etc that clearly point to the fact that electoral votes can be effectively transmitted electronically.”

They averred that the benefits of electronic transmission of votes cannot be over emphasized, as they are profound; transmitting votes electronically drastically reduces credibility issues associated with manual transmission of voting tallies during elections; it reduces costs in very significant levels and same as associated risks to persons (ad hoc) and officials handling manual transmission.

It added that electronic transmission of votes has become the norm in the world and the INEC has courageously stated that votes can be transmitted electronically, and that it has the capacity to carry out this. This stance it declared after due and exhaustive synergetic works and consultations with all machineries and entities relevant to the process including, the N.C.C.

The groups added that, “It is therefore the height of perfidy for the Vice Chairman of NCC, in collusion with the Commission’s Executive Director and other officials of the NCC to embark on deliberate falsehood, hoodwink and mis-lead of gullible lawmakers and by extension Nigerians on the electronic transmission of votes in Nigeria,  up to the point of the Commission over-reaching itself even on verifiable facts as on broadband penetration, etc that are within public domain cum knowledge, all in a bid to satisfy certain entrenched political interests.

“What the N.C.C officials have done is a huge betrayal of public trust and therefore criminal. They have also treated the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under which they swore on oath of honesty before the floor of the NASS, with contempt and scorn. Both are serious infractions that need be held to account.

“We therefore strongly and unequivocally demand as follows.

  • That the National Assembly blacklists the NCC officials who colluded and presented falsified information and falsehoods to mislead it on a matter as critical to sustainable democracy and national stability as the electronic transmission of electoral votes.
  • That the Inspector General of Police promptly sets in motion, machinery to arrest, investigate and prosecute all the N.C.C officials who participated in this ignominious perfidy at the floor of the National Assembly including the arrowhead Mr Ubiale Manzo. This action should be extended to any other external collaborators who participated in this criminal plot.
  • That the Inspector General of Police must within 14-days from today carry out the above duty, failure of which Nigerians will be mobilized across all divides to promptly pursue other course or courses within our powers as citizens of this country to compel him to act as should.
  • That the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, should ignore all the orchestrations of anti-democratic shenanigans and courageously dedicate itself to conducting a free, fair and credible elections and importantly transmit voters tallies electronically as they have the backing of Nigerian Citizens.
  • That Nigerians knowing now who their real enemies are, should mobilize against all their representatives that voted against electronic transmission of vote tallies.
  • That Mr. President should only give ascent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021 after:
  • The deletion of the proviso to Section 52(2) that requires transmission of election results by INEC to be subjected to the clearance of NCC and NASS since that fly on the face of every known norm or practice in any electoral process globally especially as it erodes the independence of INEC and will ultimately lead to electoral crises which he must not allow to happen.
  • The deletion of Section 65 that has removed the powers of INEC to review results declared under duress or in contravention of electoral law and guidelines.
  • The deletion of Section 88 which has completely monetized the democratic process as only moneybags can contest elections in Nigeria as campaign expenses for the presidential election have been increased from N1 billion to N15 billion; the governorship election, from N200 million to N5 billion; Senate poll, from N40 million to N1.5 billion; House of Representatives, from N30 million to N500 million; and the State House of Assembly election, from N10 million to N50 million. In a country where the national minimum wage is N30,000 only the stupendously rich who may have stolen public fund or sponsored by drug barons can run for public offices.

 

The statement was signed by

  1. Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria – Chima Williams
  2. Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action) – Vivian Bellonwu
  3. Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development – Styven Obodoekwe
  4. Campaign for Transformative Governance – Jaye Gaskia

This statement is further supported and endorsed by:

  1. The Peoples Alternative Political Movement (TPAP-M) – Omotoye Olorode
  2. Liberation Party – Awopetu Idowu
  3. Health of Mother Earth Foundation – Nnimmo Bassey
  4. Centre for Accountability and Public Participation Africa – Philip Jakpor
  5. Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre – Auwal Ibrahim Musa
  6. Socialist Congress of Nigeria – Akin Fasoranbaku
  7. Centre for Information Technology and Development – Y. Z. Ya’u
  8. Tubali Development Initiative – Hauwa Mustapha
  9. Caring Heart Initiative for Advocacy, Development & Empowerment – Grace Ese Obakina
  10. Cee-Hope Nigeria – Betty Abah
  11. Centre for Human Rights and Social Advancement – Yusha’u Sani Yankuzo
  12. African Centre for Media & Information Literacy – Chido Onuma
  13. Host Communities Network of Nigeria – Prince Barbs Preye Pawuru
  14. Good Talk Development Initiative – Otto Ikpe
  15. Civil Liberties Organization, South South Zone – Karl Uchegbu
  16. Kebethkache Women Development and Resource Centre – Emem Okon
  17. Centre for Media, Environment and Development Communication – Constance Meju
  18. Socio Economic Research and Development Centre – Tijani Abdulkareem
  19. Rainbow Watch Development and Resource Centre – Michael Gbarale
  20. Centre for Basic Rights Protection and Accountability Campaign – Prince Wiro
  21. Arise for Gender and Livelihoods Initiative – Deborah Effiong
  22. Pius Dukor Foundation – Pius Dukor
  23. Disabilities Awareness Welfare Development and Rights Initiative – Sharon Chidiebere Ohaka
  24. Community Outreach for Development and Welfare Advocacy – Taiwo Otitolaye
  25. ANPEZ Centre for Environment and Development – Everest Nwankwo
  26. Initiative for Community Development – Benjamin Ogbalor
  27. Centre for Transparency Advocacy – Faith Nwadishi
  28. Koyenum Immalah Foundation – MacDonald Ekemezie
  29. Network on Good Governance – Peter Nwadishi
  30. Lekeh Development Foundation – Nbani Friday Barilule
  31. Community Development Advocacy Foundation – Benin Richard
  32. Solomon Shepherd Foundation – Iyobhebhe S. O.
  33. Kallop Humanitarian and Environmental Centre – Kadu Anthony Aalo
  34. Gbolekekro Women and Youth Empowerment and Development Organization – Cynthia Buluebiere Bright
  35. Egbema Voice of Freedom – Evaristus Nicholas
  36. Community Forest Watch – Ajele Sunday
  37. Ethics and Corporate Compliance Institute of Nigeria – Chike Jideani
  38. Re-educating Africans on the Risks and Dangers of Unplanned Journeys Abroad & Empowering the Youths – Evans Ehiremen
  39. Center for Development Support Initiatives – Mina Ogbanga
  40. Association of Rural Chiefs for Peace and Development – Alagbo Nengi James
  41. Civil Liberties Organization Bayelsa State Branch – David West
  42. Niger Delta Development Monitoring Group – Okorobia Gideon
  43. Peace Point Development Foundation – Umo Isua-Ikoh
  44. Women Rights and Empowerment Initiative – Onwuka C.C.
  45. Protest to Power Movement – Motunde Nathaniel
  46. Take Back Nigeria Movement – Godwin Frank
  47. Grassroots Development and Empowerment Foundation – Patrick Amah
  48. Foundation for Good Governance and Social Change – Austin Osakue
  49. Mothers And Marginalized Advocacy Centre – Chioma Kanu
  50. Youths Against Disaster Initiative – Abubakar Jimoh
  51. One Love Community Development – Agboro Andrew
  52. Development Outreach International – Okpara A. Ndidi
  53. Policy Alert – Nneka Luke-Ndumere
  54. Final Push (Nig) Movement – Friday O. Ogierhiakhi
  55. Africa Centre For Environmental and Rural Development – Nohwo Fred
  56. Centre For Rural Emancipation Economic & Social Development – Christian C. Okororie
  57. Organization for the Sustainance of the Nigerian Environment – Angela Okoye
  58. Community Initiative for Enhanced Peace and Development – Egondu Esinwoke
  59. Jamessira Centre for Development – Bagbi K. Innocent
  60. Rivers Community Content Initiative – Henry Eferegbo
  61. Media Awareness and Justice Initiative – Okoro Onyekachi Emmanuel
  62. Hands to Help International Foundation – Mercy Awhana Alakis
  63. Okerio Okoro Anthony Development Foundation – Joy Okerio
  64. Reed Center – Voke Ighorodje
  65. Value Rebirth and Empowerment Initiative – Edewor Egedegbe
  66. Global Women for Quality and Sustainable Development – Kadiri A. Mariam
  67. Initiative for Peace and Stability – Joy Tobele
  68. Hope 4life Initiative – Ogana Johnson
  69. Participatory Initiative for Peace and Development – Robert Osahor
  70. Centre for Community Excellence – Adamu Abubakar Kotorkoshi
  71. Society for Women and Youths Affairs – Amanie Stella
  72. MBA Okase Initiative – Patience Osaroejiji
  73. Centre for Truth and Liberty – Olusesan Semaiye
  74. Development & Integrity Intervention Goal Foundation – Ajah Chima Oliver
  75. Human Rights and Conflicts Resolution Center – George Etamesor
  76. Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre – Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface
  77. More Action Less Talk – Alpha J. Marshall
  78. Sunshine Progressive Youth Alliance – Joel Samuel Feyisola
  79. Neighbourhood Environment Watch Foundation – Kelechukwu Okezie
  80. Global Care Rescue Mission – Egbe Princess M. Elizabeth
  81. Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy & Development – Nelson Nnanna Nwafor
  82. Great Gender Grassroots Foundation – Leah O. Solomon
  83. Chiroma Yakubu Charity Foundation – Ahmed Bala Gassol
  84. Women and Young People Awareness Initiative – Ovenaone Jennifer Uniga
  85. Save Life Community Initiative – Joshua David Kaka
  86. Dephee Peace and Community Development Initiative – Bulus Audu Daniel
  87. Tansana Health and Community Integrated Development Initiative – Yoila Samari Raymond
  88. Center for Peace Education and Community Development – Joseph Gimba
  89. Peace and Development Projects – Francis Abayomi
  90. Initiative for Women Empowerment and Development – Assumpta Nwakanma
  91. Society for Economic Rights and Social Justice – Andy Orji
  92. Initiative For Ideal Development and Leadership In Nigeria – Nwokocha Anozie Innocent
  93. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Initiative – Loretta Ahuokpeme
  94. Development Research and Synergy Initiative – Princess Victoria Umoh
  95. Status for Youths Development and Total Health Initiative/Patriotic Leaders of Nigeria – Otobo Denis
  96. Global Network for Peace and Development – Sylvester Okoduwa
  97. The Southern Free Press Incorporated – Anthony Ita Etim
  98. Legislative Media Advocacy Initiative – Kehinde Akintola
  99. Association of Women Farmers of Nigeria – Joan N. Obazee
  100. Public Enlightenment Projects – Lilian Ezenwa
  101. Samsuji Global Rescue Foundation – Samuel Chibueze Osuji
  102. Center for Human Rights Advocacy and Wholesome Society – Okoye Chuka Peter
  103. Centre for Sustained Dialogue – Omotosho Hakeem
  104. Take A Cue Development Initiative – Abiola Daisy Igaga
  105. The Havids Centre for Environment & Development – Macmorrison Harry
  106. Women Youths and Children Advancement Program – Agatha Osieke
  107. Ndoki Youth Federation – Henry Okebugwu Nwigwe
  108. Rural Health and Women Development – Regina Fabian
  109. League of Queens International Empowerment – Idongesit Alexander
  110. Women Initiative on Climate Change – Nne Umoren
  111. Alauchi Women Development Initiative – Glory Alexander
  112. Egi Women Human Right Environmental Justice Initiative – Precious Ibegwura
  113. Uyo Iban Amplifier – Okoho Ene
  114. Human Rights, Justice and Peace Foundation – Cassius Ukwugbe
  115. Centre for the Advancement of Children and Women’s Rights – Naomi Onuoha
  116. African Centre for Human Advancement and Resource Support – Amaka Biachi
  117. Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law – Courage Nsirimovu
  118. Foundation for Conservation of Nigerian Rivers – Irikefe V. Dafe
  119. Get A ;ife Advocacy And Advancement Initiative – Happiness Ntuenibok O.
  120. Centre for Citizenship Capacity Advancement & Development Alternatives – Boney Akaeze
  121. National Coalition on Gas Flaring and Oil Spill in the Niger Delta – Edward O. Obi
  122. Coalition Against Gas Flaring (CAGAF)
  123. Alliance On Surviving COVID 19 And Beyond (ASCAB)
  124. Green Alliance Nigeria (GAN)

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