Stakeholders have rejected the idea of electronic voting been promoted by the Kaduna State Government.
The stakeholders who rejected the bill at a public hearing by the Kaduna State House of Assembly on a bill for a law to substitute, the State Independent Electoral Commission Law, 2012, however advocated for the reconciliation of the proposed amendment bill with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as the Electoral act especially in the area of electronic Voting Machine capture in the bill.
The stakeholders also advocated for downward review of the legitimate age for people aspiring to contests in election, from 30 years to 25 years in line with the ‘Too Young to run’ bill before the national Assembly as well as the removal of section that request intended candidates to pay a particular fees to SIECOM before contesting local government election.
According to the stakeholders, no state law supersede the constitution and the Electoral Act of a country, saying that the section 50 of the Electoral act prohibit the electronic voting for now, urging both the State Assembly and the State Independent Electoral Commission to wait until the national assemblies complete the proposed amendment before them.
According to them the above propose items can be include in the next amendment of the law not now.
In his submission, the Kaduna State chairman, Conference for Political Parties Alhaji Umar Ibrahim said the electronic voting if use during the forth coming local Government elections may put the electorate to risk as people will be voting under the supervision of a qualifying operator of the voter machine and that it will abuse the right of one man one vote.
According to him, Kaduna State citizens need adequate education on how to vote electronically which cannot be achieve now before the forth coming election, noted that the time is too shot for that.
He expressed concerned over the section of the bill that proposed that a candidate should pay a fees to SIECOM, from 100,000 to 200,000 before he or she can contest for an election, describing it as a means of disfrachance intended aspirants and that is not include in the national electoral act.
Earlier, in his key note addressed the Speaker, Kaduna state House of Assembly Alhaji Aminu Abdullahi Shagali said the state government has observed the way and manner local government administration had been running since 1999 this date and has come up with a realistic Programs and direction for 23 local councils in form of the bill.
According to him, the public hearing is organized to give room for all the Stakeholders in the state to come and made their contribution before the passage of the bill into law. He added that his expectation is that the local government and SIECOM will have a very good structure to operate without any interference from any arm of the state government when bill finally become law.
Also, Chairman House Committee on Judiciary, Barrister Kantiok Irmiya Ishaku who argued that the National electoral act concern more on the national and state on the issue of electronic voting noted that state can adopt it in the local government level, unless there was a judgment in that regard from a high court.
According the him as lawmakers they keep party affiliation aside and put Kaduna State People first in decision taking enacting of law.
He added that, with the level of attendance by various groups, bodies and individuals and suggestion made by them showed that kaduna citizens are now very conscious of laws pass in the assembly as well as desire a free and fair election.