Gov. Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State, says electronic voting is possible in Nigeria, with the right determination.
According to him, the success recorded in the last Local Government election conducted via eletronic voting in the state, was a demonstration that it was possible across the country.
The governor made the statement in a statewide broadcast on Wednesday to thank the people of the state state for giving the All Progressive Congress (APC), victory at the polls.
He welcomed the election as a unifying moment, describing the results from Kaduna South Senatorial District in particular, as significant in advancing political consensus in the state and overcoming divisions.
According to him, his administration had placed the credibility and integrity of the electoral process above the discredited practice of previous governments of winner takes all.
He commended the electorates for showing, for the second time, that there was no obstacle to the successful adoption of electronic voting technology in Nigeria.
El-Rufai recalled that voters in the state, first made history on May 12, 2018 when they cast their ballots on electronic voting machines to elect chairmen and councillors for the 23 local government councils in the state.
He also explained that the election had placed Kaduna State as the first in Nigeria to use electronic voting and first subnational in Africa to do so.
According to him, it also positioned Nigeria as the second country in Africa after Namibia to use the technology.
“The local government elections of 4th September 2021 further validated the Kaduna State Government’s decision to invest in Electronic Voting Machines to promote electoral integrity and transparency.
“Kaduna state is proudly upholding a new chapter in elections in Nigeria, using electronic voting technology, championed by a government that is determined to respect the outcome, win or lose,’’ he posited. As governor of Kaduna state, I have always taken the view that we all win when democracy triumphs.”
He congratulated all the winners in the local government elections and challenged them to use their period in office to serve the people, uphold democratic tenets and promote peace in the state.
The governor expressed gratitude to the people for the support they gave APC candidates during the elections. “Our people again demonstrated with their votes that they recognised our efforts to empower them, to educate their children properly, to secure better healthcare for them and to return their priorities to the heart of government,’’ he pointed out.
El-Rufai further said he was particularly pleased that his administration’s determined efforts to promote democracy are helping to further unite the state.
“We welcome the results in the Kaduna South Senatorial District, as a significant step in advancing political consensus in our state and overcoming division.
“We are most grateful to the people of the Kaduna South Senatorial District whose votes have helped expand the APC’s footprint in the area.
“The voters have given the APC victory in four of the seven local government where elections were conducted in Southern Kaduna,’’ he noted.
According to him, the APC had won in Jema’a and Kauru local government councils, in addition to retaining Sanga and Kagarko which it won in 2018.
“The unprecedented victory in Jema’a augurs well for advancing unity and commitment to common endeavours in the interest of unity, peace and progress in our state.
“It is an embrace that we do not take for granted. We accept it as a moment for opening new vistas, extending bridges and saying farewell to needless divisions,’’ he said.
According to him, “this emphatic statement at the ballot box has shattered the unhelpful myth that any part of our state is an impregnable stronghold of any party.
“It has removed the baseless stereotyping of certain parties as ethnic bastions and religious vehicles. I call on all leaders and citizens in our state to cherish this moment and make it the beginning of an enduring rapprochement.’’