Opposition to electronic election result transmission, unpatriotic, backward – Senator Ibrahim
Cyril Mbah, Abuja
A three-time governor of Yobe state, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim has expressed firm support for the rotation of the presidency to the south in 2023 and also backed the campaign for the electronic transmission of electoral results saying controversies surrounding these agitations were unnecessary.
Ibrahim, who also served three times as senator representing Yobe Central in the Senate, remarked in an exclusive interview with Orient Daily in Abuja that no sacrifice should be regarded as too much in the effort to keep the nation peaceful, united and developed.
He remarked that those who oppose the electronic relay of election results from polling centres were unpatriotic and still living in the past, adding that every part of the world has embraced modern trends of doing business online and Nigeria should not be left behind.
The senator advised conservative elements in the north to look beyond immediate gains and make necessary sacrifices for the sake of peace and the unity of the country.
Bukar Ibrahim reminded opponents of a president of southern or Igbo extraction that peace and unity cannot be forced or decreed without negotiation which must include a give and take situation.
Hear him: “There is basically nothing wrong with transmitting election results electronically or manually. Everything depends on how honest those handling the process can be.
“If INEC trusts those to be charged with transmitting the results electronically, I do not see why this cannot be done or why some people are opposing the innovation which will even be a faster means of compiling results.
“Those who are against it may have felt that wrong people will interfere with the process but whichever way it is transmitted, without proper supervision, it can still be tampered with and that is one of the bad practices in Nigerian politics.
“a process can be good or bad depending on how it is handled. If it is mismanaged, the process can be badly abused. Everything depends on INEC and how well it handles the entire process from voting to transmission of results after elections,” he stated.
Abba Ibrahim suggested that the best way to handle the process and make it error-free was to have a back-up copy of whatever is to be transmitted electronically so that it can be cross-checked later to ensure that nobody tampered with the results on transit.
He emphasised that the nation has the human and material resources to implement the electronic transmission of election results and declared that opponents of the process were simply generating unnecessary controversies where there should be none.
Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim said even though opponents were right by observing that instability in the power sector can hinder or frustrate the transmission of results electronically, he argued that except a process is tried, nobody can correctly assume that the system will fail because everything depends on those handling the course of action.
On the rotation of the presidency to the south by 2023, the former governor said: “I totally agree with southern governors on their demand for a president from the south. I have always said that the earlier we in the north support a president from the southern part of the country, the better for peace and unity of the country.
“We should even have this policy of rotating the presidency in the constitution so that every part of the country can feel being carried along and this will prevent one ethnic group or part of the country from dominating leadership.
“There is nothing absolutely wrong with rotation of presidency between the north and the southern part of the country. Everything depends on the method adopted for the rotation. I believe that a well-managed rotation process will bring peace and encourage unity.
“I will advise that the attorney general of the federation and the chief justice of the federation should meet and see how this process can be made constitutional.
“The two of them should look at the laws very well and see how this system can be adopted in the overall interest of the country especially now that the constitution is undergoing amendment,” Senator Abba said.
On insecurity, Senator Abba advised that the entire security apparatus should be overhauled for effectiveness even as he remarked that the overwhelming security challenges in the country can be brought under control with better commitment and dedication on the part of the nation’s security agencies.
While referring to the declining insurgency in the northeast as an example, Senator Abba said Boko Haram attacks have lately reduced due to the persistence, zeal, undivided loyalty and determination of troops in the field of battle.
He urged youths to use their greater population to mobilise well and take over the baton of leadership from the older generation of politicians who, he observed have become too settled in their old conservative ways to do anything positive that will rapidly develop the country.
“Politics is a game of numbers and since the population of Nigerian youths is more in number, if they are serious and want this country to change for the better, I challenge them to get together, use their numbers and fight any perceived injustice that creates problems for the country. The youths are more in numbers than the others and the population can be useful when properly harnessed,” he concluded.