By Emma Elebeke
ABUJA—Despite the euphoria that greeted the invention of a solar-powered electronic voting machine by the National Agency of Science and Engineering Infrastructure, NASENI, indications have emerged that INEC is not very enthusiastic about its deployment for the 2019 general elections.
INEC chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, according to sources at the meeting, which was held behind closed doors, expressed fears that the machine could fail in the middle of the exercise and cause problems, including litigation against the commission.
Mahmood’s fear came, despite the use of the machine to demonstrate that it could accommodate five elections at once and produce results within minutes.
The machine was formally presented to INEC National Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mamoud, by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, and his team, led by the Director General of NASENI, Dr. Mohammed Haruna, at INEC headquarters in Abuja yesterday.
An insider source, who witnessed the presentation, told Vanguard on condition of anonymity that INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mamoud, and top officials of the commission were shocked that NASENI could produce such novel technology but were not in the mood to adopt it for the next general election.
The source said that in an indirect move to outrightly reject the machine and appease the Science and Technology Minister, Mahmood opted to raise a ‘technical committee’ to further brainstorm on the workability of the voting machine and submit its report on July 29 this year.
According to the source, the angry minister who felt disappointed at the manner INEC received the locally-made machine, challenged INEC to adopt the machine and deploy it for 2019 general elections, having tested and confirmed it to be efficient enough to meet INEC’s standard and requirements.
Vanguard gathered that the furious minister further challenged INEC to adopt the machine, since it was capable of taking five elections simultaneously and is programmed to take as many as seven elections at once and save time and resources.