Posted by Sunny Okim, Lagos | 7 August 2018 | 1,854 times
Former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign into law the Amendment to the Electoral Act which had been passed to him by the National Assembly for some time now.
Osoba said that doing so was the only way to ensure the credibility of the 2019 general elections results.
Osoba made the call while speaking during the lecture held at the Muson Center in Lagos on Monday to mark the 70th birthday of media icon and former Chief Executive Officer of Newswatch Communications, Mr Ray Ekpu.
According to Osoba, adoption of electronic voting and instant transmission of the results as stipulated in the Act is the only way that will ensure credibility of the election results, thereby save the country from chaos and violence.
“Let us put aside the undue attention currently being paid to election timetable and card reader, the only means to ensure that 2019 general election results are credible is for President Buhari to sign into law the amendment to the Electoral Act which compels INEC to adopt electronic means of voting and instantly transmitting results online to the headquarters simultaneously as the voting exercise is going on around the country,” Osoba said.
The veteran journalist-turned-politician said he was in the forefront of championing the bill which successfully passed through the National Assembly now awaiting the president’s consent.
The amendment, said Osoba, stipulates a five-year jail term for any Returning Officer at any of the polling booths who fails to transmit the results online to INEC headquarters as voting goes on.
“I strongly believe that if that is done, the 2019 elections will have the most credible results in the history of the country,” he said.
Tracing the history of unpopular election results in the country, Osoba said it was during the 2013 elections when then-President Obasanjo subverted the chances of the Action for Democracy (AD) party to ensure that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won.
“To me, the 2003 general elections as manipulated by Obasanjo was the most incredible. That was the beginning of massive rigging and manipulation of election results in the country,” Osoba said.
Also speaking during the Lecture with the theme, “Nigeria: The Leadership Question”, former Governor Obong Victor Attah of Akwa Ibom State said that the crop of leaders during the 1999 - 2007 dispensation, provided a focused leadership to the country compared to what obtains now.
The birthday Lecture anchored by ace broadcaster Bisi Olatilo, had former Foreign Affairs Minister, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, as chairman with Dan Agbese as moderator of the panel discussion segment.
Other guests at the well-attended event include Publisher of Vanguard Newspapers, Mr Sam Amuka; Secretary to the Government of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Emmanuel Effiong Ekuwem, and many other dignitaries.
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