A caller on Nigeria Info’s Morning Crossfire shares a thought-provoking perspective following considerations by the Nigerian Senate to make the upload of election results mandatory to enhance transparency and accountability in the electoral system.
He expressed doubts about the impact of this legislative move in improving the credibility of elections in the country.
“All of them will just shout down on the person (collation officer), forget it! forget it eh! write result!". He said, recounting a personal experience in the just concluded 2023 Bayelsa State governorship election.
According to him, the voters had urged the collation officer to proceed with collating the election results in a particular ward despite the officer’s concern about the evasion of the Bi-modal Voters Accreditation System (BIVAS).
The BIVAS, an electronic device introduced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC verifies the genuineness of the permanent voter’s card, (PVC) and the fingerprint or facial authentication of voters during accreditation. This also implies that the number of accredited voters must correspond with the total number of votes in a voting unit.
Addressing deeper issues related to citizens' behaviour during elections, this caller asserts that the mandatory upload of election results online will not improve the credibility and transparency of elections in Nigeria until citizens have a change of attitude towards electoral processes.
The discourse around electoral transparency has intensified since the conclusion of the 2023 general elections. But as the conversation continues, the question remains: Can mandatory online result uploads truly usher in a new era of credibility in Nigeria's elections?