By Regis Amauche, Enugu
A civil society organization, Women Aid Collective (WACOL), and journalists in Enugu State have called for the introduction of electronic voting system as a way to curbing election violence in Nigeria.
The call come after the presentation of report on the election violence monitoring in the south east organization by Woman Aid Collective, in partnership with International Foundation for Electoral System with support from USAID and UKaid.
The group also advised that the National Assembly should as a matter of urgency make laws that would change the processes of appointing the head of the nation’s electoral body to ensure they are independent during election.
This they believe would empower the electoral body and make them independent to conduct elections without fear of interference from any quarter particularly the ruling parties.
They also observed that the level of poverty in the country and lack of knowledge on why one should vote were major reasons why the issues of vote-buying came up, saying that it may not be phased out easily until the challenge of poverty were addressed .
Nigerians should be sensitized and educated to understand that their PVCs are the right they have to vote in any body of their choice for future development of their communities, children, construction of roads, education and hospitals among other things and not just for immediate needs.
Presenting the report on the election violence monitoring in the southeast (NEVR) the consultant to WACOL, Malachy Ochie, who mentioned some flash point in the southeast zone condemned election violence, describing it as the worst disease in the nations electoral system.
He urged the leadership of the country to work towards introduction of electronic voting system which he said would not only reduce violence but also the cost of conducting elections in the country, pointing out that most of the materials used in the election immediately became wastes after the election because they could not be useful again for any other election.
He called on journalists to continue in educating the public on the importance of voting to reduce the rate of apathy during election period.