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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lack of political will, greatest enemy of e-voting – NCS

The President, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Prof Charles Uwadia, has identified lack of political will as the greatest challenge facing the nation in the adoption of electronic voting (e-Voting).

Prof. Uwadia who was speaking to newsmen in Lagos, last weekend, on the first national stakeholders’ forum on e-Voting system scheduled for Kaduna from June 30 to July 2, this year, also said there cannot be good governance without an enduring electoral process through the deployment of Information Technology (IT) in every aspect of the process.

The NCS boss said there is a strong correlation between good governance and the people empowered to govern any given society.

“As Nigerians, we all yearn for good things of life, we want power (energy) 24 hours of the day; we want good roads and quality education. We want good medical care and good environment, all these of course, cannot happen except we have good governance.
There is need for transparency and accountability,” he said.

Prof. Uwadia further said that by leveraging on IT in future elections the country will be sure that that the right people get into governance to the meet the aspirations of the electorates.
In addition, he said, the idea has been receiving favourable responses from stakeholders just as NCS intends to push for an experimental pilot scheme in 2011.

“Elections in most nations of the world with enviable democratic platform have over the years been conducted electronically. Nigeria cannot and should not be an exception. We do not have to use e-voting in all the states, we could run pilots in some states for assessment,” he said.

Assuring that the regular disputes over election results will be reduced with e-voting, he said that the application of e-voting has become a necessary part of global campaign for increased electoral integrity.

As said by him, stakeholders’ forum scheduled for Hamdala Hotel, Kaduna, is expected
to have in attendance, the President, the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the chief judge of the federation, the secretary to the government of the federation, the minister of information and communication, minister of science and technology, the minister of justice and attorney general of the federation as well as the state governors.

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