By Ola Ajayi
IBADANâ€”GOVERNOR Theodore Ahamefule Orji of Abia State, has canvassed adoption of electronic voting in the 2011 general elections. He said the manual voting system used in the last election encouraged corruption and other forms of electoral malpractices.
He added that the country should take a cue from other democratic nations around the world where the use of electronic voting system has added ceredibility to their democracy.
Besides, â€œit also eliminates unnecessary and avoidable human errors and reduces disagreements when results are announced,â€ he stated.
The governor was speaking at the 2009 Alumni Annual Lecture of the University of Ibadan. To him except the constitution is amended, no electoral or political reforms can work.
While speaking on the topic, â€œPolitical and Electoral Reforms – Imperatives for Survival of Nigeriaâ€™s Democracyâ€, he urged the National Assembly to ensure quick review of the constitution to allow enough time for the operational framework to be put in place before the 2011 polls.
Governor Orji said, â€œhunger and poverty have contributed in equal dimension to the instability and corruption that run ring around our polity. I believe strongly that violence in elections will disappear the moment we engage our youths and other vulnerable persons in meaningful activities.â€
On the Electoral Reform report, he said, â€œIt will amount to a great disservice to our people if the report is misused or incinerated as the case may be. The consequence will be quite grave. One major aspect of the report which will help to sanitize our electoral system is the autonomy for INEC and removal of the powers conferred on the President to appoint the INEC bossâ€.
He continued, â€œWhoever opposes this recommendation is an enemy of Nigeria. Autonomy for INEC will facilitate preparations for elections on time and remove unnecessary capitulation by INEC officials to the manipulation of the executive who appointed them.
This is why the National Assembly should take it upon themselves to ensure that the grey areas in the report are adequately addressed.â€