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ELECTIONS: Nigeria now matured enough for electronic voting –ex-INEC commissioner

A former National Commissioner at the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. ‘Lai Olurode , says Nigeria is politically matured enough to commence conducting its national elections through electronic voting.

Olurode , a professor of Sociology , said by embracing electronic voting, Nigeria could address the problem of electoral violence.

He said this while delivering his inaugural lecture titled, “The slaughter slab as a metaphor ,” at the University of Lagos .

Olurode also proposed a cut in the wages of public office - holders to lessen the desperation for seeking political power , because , according to him , desperation for political power was the main factor fuelling electoral violence.

He said, “The disparity in salaries and allowances between political office- holders and public/ private workers should be narrowed so that public office seekers will not be given to aggressive and deviant behaviours . ”
He added that the country might not be able to stem the tide of electoral violence until the socio - economic deprivation that the masses were subjected to was addressed.

“The higher the level of socio -economic deprivation , the higher the level of violence in the electoral process under conditions of weak institutionalisation of social norms ,” Olurode said.

Part of Olurode ’ s four - pronged solution to electoral violence is the use of electronic voting.
“Election technology has proved a valuable asset in curbing acts of impunity and in making elections to be truly competitive. The time to use electronic voting is here , and INEC can commence the process with the governorship and by - elections that will fall due before the 2019 general election ,” the don said.

The other solutions to electoral violence proposed by Olurode are cutting the cost of campaigns ; putting targeted policies in place to curb impunity by political actors; and acculturation of Nigerian laws and statutes to reflect traditional preferences, history and popular yearnings of citizens .

Present at Olurode ’ s inaugural lecture were UNILAG ’s Vice -Chancellor, Prof. Rahmon Bello; second republic Lagos State Governor , Alhaji Lateef Jakande ; a former INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega , who was represented by Ambassador Mohammad Wali; a former Inspector- General of Police , Alhaji Musiliu Smith, among others.

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