Digital transfer of outcomes: How INEC slayed the dragon, By Matthew Hassan Kukah


First, let me congratulate the Chairman of the Unbiased National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Mahmud Yakubu, all his workers and the People of the National Assembly Committees on INEC for re-enkindling our hope within the constructing of our Democracy. The passage of the Invoice to enable INEC transmit election outcomes electronically every the Condominium and the Senate is marvelous of birthday celebration. It appears to be like a easy and straight forward express. Nonetheless, this is Nigeria the place nothing is ever easy or straight forward. I am hopeful that President Muhammad Buhari will lag ahead and signal the Invoice into Law at this time. In doing so, he’ll give credence to his commitment to giving the country the reward of an even bigger INEC than the one he met. Right here’s a turning level for our nation. When Neil Armstrong landed on the moon on July 17th,  1969, he acknowledged to a skittish world, Right here’s a itsy-bitsy step, but a huge leap for mankind. I certainly feel the identical about this type.

The reader would possibly perchance accuse me of exaggeration or wondering what there could be to grasp fun. Nonetheless, if you occur to live in a country which flourishes in self-flagellation, openly embraces fraud,  flourishes in duplicity, skullduggery, subterfuge and barefaced underhandedness even on one of the best likely stage, then, this stab on the elephant of corruption would possibly perchance merely nonetheless no longer be taken flippantly. It is the predominant in 1,000,000 stabs that shall be conscious sooner than we spoil the dragon of corruption in Nigeria. The drag has begun but there could be hope ahead.

We can all be gorgeous to recall that in human terms, fraud is built into any blueprint of human transaction attributable to every continuously seeks to fetch perfect thing in regards to the tips of engagement by subversion a technique or the completely different. Every blueprint of transaction poses a upright dilemma. We’re usually supplied tips on learn how to cope by such announcing as; when confronted with two evils, exhaust a lesser one. Nonetheless, if we search gross as intrinsic, then it is going to merely nonetheless no longer be judged by size especially given that with time, this can grow. 

Confronted with upright probity in our fight for energy in Nigeria, we grasp got continuously acknowledged it is more fit to exhaust a lesser gross. Nonetheless, with time, these lesser evils grew with apply and refinement until they was embedded within the fabric of our collective lives.  With time, we noticed the day earlier than nowadays’s thugs, pollbox stuffers and snatchers, vote pilferers, all mutate into respectability. With time, in return for their perfidy they received rewarded with promotions and appointments as soon as their sponsors received to energy. With time,  their fingers was company in preserving and ice climbing the greasy poles of politics. With time, the shrimp vegetation developed sturdy roots, with corruption as its nutrients. With time, Nigeria at this time was a large woodland decorated with immoral fruits of its political sins. With time, all these thugs of the day earlier than nowadays in level of fact went your entire formula to the tip and steadily, the proceeds of corruption filtered into the blood of sacrifice for political energy in Nigeria. With time and sooner than our eyes, Nigerian politics descended into sorcery, voodooism, necromancy and divination. The falcon would possibly perchance no longer hear the falconer as the country slid down and down. 

Appropriation from the Affirm and institutional rep was the following diagram for political express. Whereas lawyers, engineers, doctors, or even mechanics, masons, tailors usually made genuine claims of their qualifications by adorning their offices with the relevant certificates, politics is the most attention-grabbing profession that you simply attain no longer want any qualification to be a a part of. Thus, as the years grasp rolled by, the tips of the game was subordinated to the whims and caprices of the major political elite. In turn, the political class in our country has persisted to characteristic beneath the radar of legitimacy. 

Essentially the most unhealthy time for any country is when its legal class search to vary into what the mafia calls, genuine. They originate by identifying and actually taking on key establishments. They place their cronies in key public offices or, when they’ll no longer, they resort to blackmailing folks that withstand them. They position their eyes on key establishments comparable to the Judiciary, the Legislative our bodies, the Security companies or holders of key public offices. They fund their cronies in politics. Then, they place on a toga of invincibility, walking with the plod and defiance of prefer-me-if-you-can. On this type, via some make of dialysis, their blood proceed to flow inner the machine until they poison your entire  nationwide blood machine. Establish that had Abba Kyari no longer saved us from Chief Evans, the kidnapper king, he would potentially grasp been on the pollin Anambra as he himself confessed. It is in opposition to this backdrop that I am by the possibilities of the signing of this Invoice into guidelines.

This type  would now not indicate that the sinful days are over. If one thing else, it design that the forces of darkness will fight wait on and search to subvert this unusual guidelines. The criminals and their cronies will accumulate to work and, as we grasp got seen with the Recordsdata superhighway, the fraudsters are usually sooner than the game. INEC has to scale up its technological innovation and create a firewall to offer protection to those gains. 

Those that’re mature to living under the radar will strive and side step the guidelines no subject how tight it appears to be like. As all of us know in Nigeria, over time, electoral corruption has been the stuff of an entire bunch of anecdotes. Political actors with uncertain characters grasp been the topic of political characterization by writers.  Chinua Achebe took on this theme slightly early. In his fresh, A Man of the Folks, Chief Nanga represents the identical old cash-miss-road, shatter and grab politician. He spends cash adore san san sooner than his hapless constituents. He represents political malfeasance in Nigeria. 

In another shrimp sequence of short tales titled,  Ladies at Battle, Chinua Achebe tells the memoir of a voter who confronted a upright dilemma on vote casting day. I be conscious the memoir faintly.  I feel the person became as soon as an genuine of his birthday celebration. All key birthday celebration participants grasp been under oath no longer  to fetch a bribe or act in opposition to the birthday celebration. Nonetheless, sooner than the date of elections, the opposition supplied him a bribe he would possibly perchance no longer resist. On vote casting day, he went to the tent, held out his pollpaper, belief ruefully about his upright dilemma. Nonetheless, to honour every and fulfill a twisted judgment of correct and inaccurate, he folded his pollpaper into two equal parts, tore it and then dropped one half for every the birthday celebration and the opposition that had bribed him. 

Let me conclude by providing just a few the clarification why I mediate that this is in level of fact a turning level moment for our Democracy.  First this has ability for changing the face of Nigerian politics for gorgeous. This can restore Belief, that great missing link between Nigerians and the political elite. The inability of belief within the political project accounts for voter apathy in Nigeria. Nigerians grasp change into despondent and jubilant that their votes would never anecdote. This has unfolded politics to those males and girls folks of violence who grasp taken our nation hostage by violence.

2d, is the demystification of the electoral processes. The scales will tumble from our eyes, the partitions surroundings apart lies and subterfuge which grasp allowed too many camels to lag via the eyes of the needle of fact will tumble. The readability of the approach will naturally empower residents that their vote has energy and encourage them to lag out and vote. Those that grasp   taunted the machine grasp their days numbered.

Third, residents will now own beefy accountability for their votes and the design they forged them. The stock market of flawed electoral currencies is now closed. We can no longer blame anyone now for our misfortunes if we vote wrongly. The days of whether or no longer-you-voted-for-us-we-must-prefer will conclude. The day gone by became as soon as for the thief, nowadays is the day for  the owner of the vote. 

Four, flawed and hour of darkness pastors and Imams would possibly perchance merely must mediate in completely different locations for low-fee cash from politicians determined for endorsement. Very at this time, our anointing oils or royal blessings will no longer be required for the manufacturing of votes. There are no prayers for winning elections correct as there are no prayers for stopping the traffic lights. Inappropriate judges expecting Tribunals to ambush the approach alongside with their excessive profile legal genuine counterparts now must mediate in completely different locations.

5, this is the daybreak of workmanship that would possibly perchance merely disgrace folks which grasp invested in preying on the lack of consciousness and vulnerability of their folks  and proceed to utilize them. Magic and sorcery would no longer grasp any future. We hope the National Assembly will proceed to appropriate the well-known funding to enable INEC embody the well-known expertise. If we attain this, per chance, Nigeria’s days of disgrace would possibly perchance attain to an conclude sooner than later. About a completely different things must occur sooner than we open our celebrations and INEC has requested that for your entire, human interference, manipulation, would possibly perchance merely nonetheless be replaced with expertise. 

Six, Reasonably sadly, the writers of the Electoral Act did no longer now stay conscious for one thing adore the Card Reader. Those sections of the Act that did no longer foresee technological type would possibly perchance merely nonetheless be at this time eradicated and the doors fully thrown originate for INEC to utilize its researchers to stumble on the limitless frontiers of technological potentialities. Thus, the digital transmission of outcomes is contingent on completely different applied sciences comparable to; a biometric register, digital accreditation of voters, digital balloting and collation of outcomes. It is  a winning sequencing  of those phases that can designate the turning level for us. It is nonetheless a prolonged road ahead but it is one of promise for us. 

Lastly, reward must lag to the civil society family, who grasp remained dedicated to the tips of Democracy. Our friend and brother, Emma Ezeazu who founded the Alliance for Credible Elections and our sister, Barrister Esther Uzoma every of blessed memory ought to be smiling of their graves. They grasp been relentless of their ardour for credible elections in Nigeria. Whether the National Assembly has seen the gentle or they are responding to the warmth of civil society, the fight must lag on. 

Matthew Hassan Kukah is the Catholic archbishop of Sokoto Diocese