NITDA DG tasks INEC on free, fair elections

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to collaborate with all relevant agencies of government to deliver credible, free and fair elections.

Pantami maintained that the only way INEC could guarantee the conduct of hitch-free elections was by automation of the entire electoral process across the country.

He made the assertion on Tuesday shortly after collecting his Permanent Voters Card (PVC) at the Government Secondary School, Gwarimpa, Abuja.

To achieve this feat, he advised the electoral umpire to recognise the importance of synergy with relevant sister agencies in the electoral process and collaborate with them to deliver credible and acceptable elections in the country.

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According to him, the electoral body must recognise the need for the National Identity Management Card being issued by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), which he said would enable the Commission to ascertain the authentic citizens resident in the country who are eligible to vote in a particular election.

‘‘It will be very easier for us to have free and fair elections if we are serious about our National Identity Management Card.”

“With this, we will be able to know the number of people in the country and any tampering; we will cross-check but if we do not have a data base, it will be difficult for us to manage the future election processes.

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‘‘At the level we are going, we will reach a level everything will be automated and most importantly, no system is 100 percent secured.

“More importantly, INEC has a lot of role to play. They should know that no single agency can do it alone.

“If they have expertise on conducting election, for sure they do not have expertise in Information Technology.

‘‘For example, they have no capacity to verify the true citizens of the country so that other people will not come here to vote.”