Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has hailed the Nigerian Senate for approving the transmission of election results electronically.
The Governor gave the commendation in an interview with State House Correspondents on Wednesday, after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “Definitely if not for God and the technology utilized by INEC, I may not be Governor today. So I am one of those people who believe that we should not have elections in this country, going into the future, without transmitting results electronically from the polling units.
“Because, for elections to be credible, they have to be seen as transparent and once you have voted, you should be sure that your vote will count.”
The Governor stressed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has the capacity to transmit results electronically.
“With technology today, it is possible and INEC has shown it that from my election, that as soon as you voted and the results are counted in the polling unit, then that result should be made available, such that you already know what would be collated at the ward collation point.
“What has happened in many cases in the past, is that people go and vote. The votes are counted in the polling unit but by the time it gets to the collation point, it changes.
“But this time around, because of the transparency everybody will see and know what is expected at the collating point. That is what happened during my election, and I am a very strong advocate for electronic transmission of results during elections.
“I want to also note that from my personal experience, INEC has the capacity and technology and the understanding of how this thing should work so they should be encouraged to use it. I hope and pray that the President will assent to that bill,” he said.
Obaseki said the State is yet to promulgate a law banning open grazing because it sees the venture as private business.
He said the state is rather calling for the full implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Programme, which would help address the problem of clashes between farmers and herders.
“As you know, most Southern States have passed laws relating to open grazing but Edo State has not. Because we want to ensure that whatever laws we pass are laws that we can enforce.
“We have had extensive consultations with our people to deal with the issue that yes, we do not want open grazing because it is out modelled and outdated, however, what are the options?
“If we are asking that we should now have ranches and these cows should be constrained to specific areas such as ranches, then who provides the land?,” he queried.
The Governor noted that the people of Edo State have resolved that ranching is a private business and should be treated as such.
“Our people say that as far as they are concerned, ranching is a private business just like every other agricultural venture, therefore, those involved should provide the land. As you already know, it is expensive to run and manage ranches.
“So I came to discuss with the President that since the people of Edo would rather invest privately, then the National Livestock Transformation Programme, which is now being implemented by the Nigerian government, should acknowledge our model and should also be able to help Edo people benefit from the funding that is now being made available for people who want to go into the livestock business and have made investments in ranches and other similar livestock programmes,” the Governor explained.
The Governor said he also used the opportunity of his visit to thank President Bujhari for the support he gave the State in returning their stolen artifacts from foreign lands.