The Independent National Electoral Commission has asked stakeholders involved in electioneering processes to support the Electoral umpire in delivering credible elections to Nigerian citizens.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Adamawa State in North east Nigeria, Mr. Kassim Giadam in a interview with voice of Nigeria noted that the Independent Electoral Commission in the state has retrained its staff and ad hoc staff to address hande all issues encountered during the presidential and national Assembly elections.
“All the things that needed to be done has been done, on the part of INEC, there’s a deliberate effort to improve on areas of lapses and shortcomings to fill every lacuna that was noticed in the previous elections. The first thing we did was capacity building and retraining of our staff . they have tried their training on the field,especially in the area of operation of the card readers,where we found out that the problem was not the card reader but the operators” he said
“In Adamawa State card reader was 90% successful. We have trained them and done readjustment, realignment and replacement of those who cannot cope . our collation officers are over 300, have been given refresher training and review all things it was rewarding. We had security meeting, we call it Inter Agency Consultative Committee Meeting on election security, we had a review of past election and the strategy for the up coming election. We are happy with the level of collaboration, the understanding given to INEC is very good”
He said the need to embrace technology for improved processes cannot be over emphasized.
“Collation starts from polling units, results entered into result sheets and taken to the ward. We have average of 10-12 polling units in each ward, 226 ward. Every stage you have party representatives. We move together from start to finish. Maybe computerization, are we ready to go for computerization to make collation easy”.
Mr. Giadam noted that the challenge of embracing technology in electioneering process in Nigeria is multi faceted
There is the computerization challenge and the need for voters to be gradually enlightened.
Another challenge is that of literacy on technology driven activities not only for the political parties but voters and all stakeholders. We expect political parties to perform higher but they are not catching up with us but we hope things will get better.
Mr. Giadam also said he is optimistic that with technology voters can vote from anywhere using their permanent voter’s card in the nearest future.