TUE 20 JULY, 2021-theGBJournal- Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, on Monday warned that rejection of electronic transmission of election results could deter the country’s effort at attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI).
Nigeria was lucky enough to attract about $2.6 billion in foreign direct investment in 2020, according to UNCTAD, despite FDI collapse amid the coronavirus pandemic.
He suggested that raising any form of doubt in the country’s electoral process could derail whatever gains from the past.
Okowa raised the concern when he received the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Pastor Monday Udoh-Tom and his management team on an advocacy visit on Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
The Governor had earlier showed his consternation on the vote against the electronic-transmission of elections results by the members of the National Assembly. Most members of both chambers of the parliament voted against the clause in the Electoral Act.
‘’I do not see any reason why any Nigerian would want to vote for non-transmission of election results,’’ the Governor said.
“Once Nigerians trust our electoral process, many Nigerians will come out to register and vote during elections. We need to change the narrative of many Nigerians that whether they vote or not, results will still come out the way they want it.’’
The Governor argued strongly that it’s actually very wrong.
‘’It gives the people the impression that people are out to rig elections from day one. It’s not the best for us as a nation and it sends wrong communication. It’s not just good for our economy and our image as a nation, because until people learn to trust our electoral processes, it will be difficult for people to come in and do business with us.
Foreign direct investments cannot come to a nation where they cannot trust our electoral processes. It is doable and possible. We saw it with Edo State election and I believe that the processes and technology being put in place will help to make it work.’’
He however expressed his appreciation on INEC’s consistent effort at thinking of the best ways to move the country’s electoral system forward such that possibilities of electoral fraud are minimised.
He assured that he would make a broadcast to sensitise the people and various groups in the state, religious leaders and traditional rulers on the ongoing CVR.
“We will do a state broadcast and we will engage various stakeholders in the state to ensure that they mobilise themselves, particularly the young ones who were not up to the age of registration as at the last time it was done.
He said that the state would continue to carry out voter education and urged all government functionaries to mobilise their people for the exercise.
At the same time he expressed worry that the exercise was starting at the local government level and advocated that INEC should move from ward to ward to ensure effective registration of the citizens.
“The cost of traveling particularly in the riverside areas is quite high so if INEC has the intention to be duly registered, there is a need to consider ward to ward movement.’’
He appreciated INEC for the way the recent by-election in Isoko North was conducted
“We have our challenges as a country but in spite of these challenges we have a duty to encourage the people to trust on our electoral process.
“It is good for the country and for the people because when you are able to vote for your choice of leaders there is the tendency that they will be responsive to the people when they know that votes must count.
Earlier, the REC expressed appreciation to the governor for ensuring security of INEC’s staff and assets during the attacks on government institutions by unknown gunmen.
He said that from July 26, INEC would deploy physical registration for those who could not register through the online facility.
“The Commission is leveraging on high political office holders in the Executive and Legislature to significantly increase the mileage and value addition in the task of mobilising the masses to come out and register which will ultimately improve the voter strength for the entire state,” the REC stated.
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