Kaduna holds LG polls via electronic voting as PDP ask INEC to push for legalisation of e-voting

Voting is reported to be underway in many polling units for chairmanship and councillorship elections across the 19 out of 23 local government areas of Kaduna state.

And for the second time since 2018, Kaduna State is using electronic voting machines for its local government elections.

The use of this innovative technology, according to the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission, is to ensure a transparent and credible process.

This makes Kaduna the first state in Nigeria to adopt electronic voting and the second sub-national government in Africa to achieve such feat after Namibia.

Although election materials arrived as late as 10:00 a.m. in some of the polling units, the exercise is currently going on smoothly with the use of the electronic voting machine.

Also, there is massive deployment of security operatives in the polling units and flashpoints within the state to ensure a hitch-free exercise.

The State Independent Electoral Commission (KADSIECOM) earlier on Friday announced the postponement of the election in four local government areas owing to insecurity.

The affected local governments are Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Zango Kataf, and Kajuru, and the electoral commission said the election is planned to hold on September 25, 2021, after security might have improved.

Meanwhile the National Working Committee of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had on Monday met with representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over issues of electoral reforms.

Leaders of the political party during the meeting urged the electoral body to lead the process of electoral reforms that will legalise electronic voting and reduce military presence during elections.

“I would like to urge your commission to move quickly and initiate Electoral Act amendment that will legalise electronic voting and remove the influence of the military as primary security on the Election Day,” National Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, said while welcoming the INEC representatives to PDP National Secretariat, Abuja.

The party also lamented over alleged military involvement in elections noting that the recent elections including the 2019 general elections calls the integrity of the electoral umpire to question.

“Despite a standing lawful court ruling that military should be kept at a distance during elections as secondary security, we have all watched how they not only took over the primary security role from the Police but in some instances dictated and even connived with some INEC officials,” they said.

They also described the 2015 election which saw the transition of power from Goodluck Jonathan of PDP to Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as ‘Nigeria’s finest election.’

PDP however tasked the electoral body to stand up to their responsibility of balance and impartiality.

“The survival and sustenance of our democracy rest squarely on the integrity of the Electoral Commission which will derive from the character and the impartiality of its operatives.

“The effect of bad elections in our polity has been far reaching, stagnating the political and economic development.”

They concluded that free, fair and credible election is exactly what PDP and indeed global democracy demand and expect from INEC.

 

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