Former Governor of Zamfara State, Senator Sani Yerima, has stated that there was a need for the country to use technology as much as possible to sanitise its electoral process.
Yerima’s intervention came following recent media reports suggesting that electronic transmission of results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been expunged from Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021 due for passage before the National Assembly.
Section 50 (2) of the Electoral Act Bill, which is presently before the National Assembly, makes no provision for INEC to transmit results of any election electronically.
The Section states: “Voting at an election under this bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the commission, which may include electronic voting, provided that the commission shall not transmit results of elections by electronic means.”
But while fielding questions from journalists at the weekend in Abuja, Yerima said he was in full support of electronic voting, adding that the world is changing and Nigeria has to follow it.
According to him, “I support electronic voting. I think that when we were queuing to register without the card reader what was happening? People will just sit down and write names and say we have such number of people.
“By the mere introduction of the card reader, the whole thing has changed. You can see that you have your fingerprint, and look at what is happening now-registration of voters online. The world is changing; Nigeria has to follow the change. We need to use technology as much as possible. As far as I am concerned, one day, we are going to go for electronic voting.”
The former Zamfara State governor noted that he would contest the 2023 presidential election, saying both the country’s constitution and that of the All Progressives Congress (APC) do not forbid him from contesting.
Yerima, however, added that if the ruling party decides to zone the ticket to the South, he would abide by the decision of the party.
On the issue of rampant banditry and kidnapping in the country, the former senator said President Muhammadu Buhari was initially very soft, stressing that some governors will tell him to negotiate, while others would urge him to use force, but added that the president has resolved by his statement that anybody seen with AK-47 should be shot.
On devolution of power, he pointed out that it has to do with the constitution amendment, which he said was already happening with financial autonomy already granted to the state judiciary and legislature, adding that he believed local governments would also be granted financial autonomy soon.
On resource control, the APC chieftain said during the first republic, the country’s major export earners were cash crops-cotton, groundnut, cocoa among others, stressing that the revenue from them were used to develop the oil sector.