The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it has put a mechanism in place to eliminate manual collation of election results at polling units in the 2019 general elections.
The commission also blamed the declining participation of youths in the electoral process on the failure of politicians to fulfil their electoral promises.
Chairman, Board of The Electoral Institute (TEI), a training arm of INEC, Prof. Okechukwu Ibeanu, at the first Abubakar Momoh memorial lecture in Abuja yesterday, said the Electoral Act has been amended to allow electronic transmission of election results.
“Election results will be transmitted real-time online from the polling units and once these results are uploaded the computer system will do the collation without need for human intervention.
“This will ensure that people’s votes count. Therefore, elections will be won and lost at the polling units,” he stressed.
The theme of the lecture, which was on “Youth Empowerment and Participation in 2019 General Election,” was delivered by former President of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Assisi Asobie.
Prof. Ibeanu who is an INEC National Commissioner said nonchallant attitude of the citizenry in politics include “failure of candidates to fulfill electoral promises made during campaigns, loss of confidence in electoral commission, electoral fraud, cumbersome of the electoral process, insecurity and violence.
”All the political parties promised the electorate various empowerment schemes, if the politicians fulfilled their promises, the electorate will have confidence in the system and this may lead to more participation in 2019 general elections.”
Acting Director General of TEI, Dr. Sa’ad Umar Idris explained that research has shown that Nigerian youth between the ages of 18 and 24 years do not vote in elections because they do not know the candidates’ position on issues that are of importance or interest to them.
“Based on the above, there is need to motivate youths to take part and learn about our political and electoral system by assisting them to recognise that they, as citizens of Nigeria with rights and freedoms, have the power to effect change by having their voices heard and more importantly, participating in the electoral process,” Dr. Idris said.
He called for study on youth registration by the institute as the first step in youth participation in the 2019 general elections.