Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured Nigerians that the results of the 2023 general elections will be transmitted electronically.
It clarified that it has not jettisoned electronic transmission of results for manual process.
National Commissioner (Information and Voter Education Committee), Festus Okoye, who made the clarification in a statement, yesterday, said the procedure for results transmission in next year’s polls will remain the same as obtained in the recent governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states.
Okoye was reacting to a report that quoted the commission as saying collation of results during the general elections will be done manually, despite the adoption of electronic transmission of results.
The report received negative reactions from the public, including the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who accused the commission of a plot to rig.
Atiku, reacting through his spokesman, Daniel Bwala, alleged: “INEC is laying the foundation for the rigging of the 2023 elections.”
But Okoye said there would be no change in future elections, including next year’s polls.
He said the commission’s explanation of results was interpreted to mean it had jettisoned electronic transmission and reverted to the manual process.
Okoye said: “This is not correct. For clarity, the procedure for results transmission remains the same as in recent governorship elections.
“We wish to reassure Nigerians that electronic transmission of results has come to stay. It adds to the credibility and transparency of the process when citizens follow polling unit-level results on INEC’s Result Viewing (IReV) portal in real-time on election day. There will be no change or deviation in subsequent elections.
“The entire gamut of result management is provided for in Sections 60, 62 and 64 of the Electoral Act 2022. In line with the provision of the law, the commission, in April this year, released a detailed clarification of the procedure for transmission, collation and declaration of results, which was shared with all stakeholders and uploaded to our website.
“We appeal to all Nigerians to avail themselves of the provisions of the Electoral Act and the commission’s detailed explanation of the procedure, and not reach a conclusion on the basis of media headlines.”
Meanwhile, yesterday, Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), an independent civil society election observation body, had described as ‘worrisome’, reports of the decision by INEC to manually collate the results of the elections.
Chairman of the group, Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani, in a statement, had said: “TMG will like to note that this action holds grave potentials towards eroding the confidence of Nigerian voters, which has just only been recently inspired by the (Electoral) Act and its provisions, key of which is the electronic transmission process.
“It also disregards the efforts of the general public who have fought long and hard for improvements in our electoral process.”
He added: “TMG demands that the commission provides clarity on its recent pronouncement to assuage the suspicions of the electorate and rebuild their confidence to exercise their rights to vote.”
“INEC should further seek to ensure that whatever actions are taken forward in the run-up to the elections do not run in violation of the provisions of the Act.”