Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has commended the National Assembly on its decision to allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), determine the use of electronic voting and transfer of results.
The governor said the resolution of the National Assembly Joint Committee to allow the electoral umpire to transmit election results electronically was a good development for Nigeria and democracy.
Governor Wike stated this in Port Harcourt, yesterday, in reaction to the decision of the Senate to rescind its earlier stance against transmission of results electronically.
He said: “I think it is good news to hear that the Joint Committee of the House of Representatives and the Senate agreed for INEC to transmit results electronically. That is good news to hear. Like I have always said, what is important now is what do people want? The moment you do what the people want, you’ll see happiness everywhere.”
The Rivers State governor, who has been a proponent of a transparent electoral system, observed that many nations had moved beyond manual result declaration and Nigeria could not afford in the 21st century to be left behind.
He said: “I think it is a good development for Nigeria and democracy. And I will urge them, the two Chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate, to abide by that recommendation by the joint committee of the two Chambers because it is for their own interest.
“And I commend the Senate President and the Speaker, House of Representatives, all the principal officers and members who felt that they must listen to what is good for Nigeria and what is good for Nigerians.”
Speaking further on the amendment of the Electoral Act, Governor Wike stated that the issue of direct or indirect primaries should be the exclusive decision of the political parties in the country.
He maintained that it would be unfair for the National Assembly to prescribe for political parties how to conduct their primaries.
“A party could adopt a method, procedure in electing who represent them at various level, that is not the for the National Assembly to dictate that you must do it by direct or indirect method. That is not democracy. That should be an internal affair of the party.”
Governor Wike insisted that National Assembly prescribing how political parties conduct their primaries was tantamount to interference in the internal politics of the parties.
He stated: “The National Assembly should realise that doing that is interfering in the internal politics of the parties and that will not augur well.”
The governor also faulted the bill sponsored by the Deputy Senate President seeking for the establishment of two Nigerian Law School campuses in each of the six geopolitical zones.
He stressed that the proposal was not in tandem with current reality, as the existing Nigerian Law School campuses were grossly underfunded.
Wike stressed: “The National Assembly has not been able to give them the money to fund the Law School, and you are saying they should establish two Law Schools in each zone.”