25th March, 2021
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has thrown its weight behind the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) resolve to carry out part of the voter’s registration exercise online while biometric data capturing would take place at designated centres.
In a release issued by CACOL and signed by Tola Oresanwo, the anti-corruption organization’s Director, Administration and Programmes on behalf of its Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, said the organisation received the news with great joy.
Adeniran said, “The INEC National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education, Mr. Festus Okoye, was quoted by the media as saying ‘We won’t require everyone to go to registration centres to go register. The new registrants will start their registration online and only go to the registration centres for the purpose of capturing fingerprints and faces.
So, that lessens the period that people will spend at registration centres. It is only those who cannot do the online registration or don’t have the capacity to do so, that will go to the polling unit to complete the entire process but for those who are Internet savvy and have computers will start registration online and go to the registration centres for their fingerprint and face capturing.”
“We received the news concerning the modalities for the voter’s registration with great joy. We believe this is a step in the right direction especially coming at a time when social distancing is the other of the day. In developed countries of the world, technology has been used to carry out electoral processes from the beginning to the end.
“Voter’s registration, voter’s education and even election proper have been successfully carried out online in these countries. We want to believe this is also possible in our great country Nigeria, which prides herself as the giant of Africa”.
“We want to commend INEC for this bold move, and we hope the electoral body has taken their time to think about the challenges and political sensitivities involved in the online registration of voters.
“We hope the information provided by voters online would be protected and the online database would also be protected from hackers and other online marauders. We want to encourage INEC to carry all the stakeholders and political actors along in order to establish a register that would be respected, reliable and legitimate.
“The preparatory phase to commence the online registration process for the first time remains the most challenging aspect. Good planning in advance and timing is important. If the first attempt is good, the credibility of the process is established, then subsequent registrations will enjoy popular support”.
The CACOL boss further enthused, “We want to implore the federal government to make fund available for INEC to carry out this novel innovation, knowing fully well that the process would involve procurement of new machines, training and retraining of both staff and ad hoc staff members of the commission and other logistics.
“Paucity of funds can hinder the achievement of the responsibilities of INEC thereby jeopardizing the whole electoral process”.