.Says, ‘Now, INEC has no reason to fail’
Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has in glowing words commended President Muhammadu Buhari for Friday’s signing of the Amended Electoral Act.
The spokesperson for the Coalition, Barr. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere said the President showed courage and must have defied some vested interests and pressures, to finally give Nigeria the needed tool to revolutionise the country’s electoral process.
He added that the signing into law of the Amended Electoral Act comes with immense benefits and plugs several loopholes that had hitherto hampered Nigeria’s electoral process from the pre-election, election proper, through the post-election processes.
Ikenga Imo who spoke in Owerri, the Imo state capital said: “What the President has done today has wide positive implications for our electoral system. For once, we are going to have the opportunity for full electronic accreditation of voters. We are all witnesses to how the non-legalization of that provision has hampered election litigation at the tribunal in 2015 and 2019. Thoses clauses there now allows that if there is a dispute, you just revert to the print-out for the electronically accredited number of voters.
“By this law, election results can be electronically transmitted and there will be no need for snatching or stuffing ballot boxes anymore.
“We must also commend INEC because even before the signing of this law, the INEC Chairman started tinkering with electronic means of improving our elections like the BVAS which has been used in Anambra and some other places.
“Now INEC has no reason to fail because the President and this law have given the Commission enough legal instrument to perfect whatever they have been working on to improve our elections.”
The spokesperson of Nigeria’s leading opposition coalition noted that the new law also gave effect to early release of election funds to INEC, gave room for early campaigns, early and adequate time for party primaries, and further leaves ample time for litigation before the election proper.
He added that parties have from now till about 17th August to conduct their primaries and would have about six months thereafter to settle disputes from the primaries and submit their list of candidates for election.
He urged political parties especially the opposition parties serious about winning elections, to ensure they field their best candidates who have the acceptability needed to win elections, as there will be no corners to cut and no room to manipulate the election process.
He continued: “And I need to add that those provisions that forbids electoral officers from tampering and falsifying election results will come into full force as there are such things as time stamps on electronically captured election data which will make it easy to catch offenders and ofcourse their journey to prison will be smooth and seamless.
“So Nigerians, we have a lot of reasons to celebrate but we must remain vigilant and keep our eyes open throughout the implementation process of the Act to ensure that some incorrigible political players and some compromised agencies, will not derail the implementation of the Amended Electoral Act.”