Constitution Review: Malfunctioning voting device force Reps to postpone proceedings

By The Citizen

The House of Representatives in Abuja on Tuesday suspended voting on the constitution review report due to the inefficiency of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in the chambers.

The voting was deferred to Wednesday to enable the electronic platform to be properly energized.

The electronic voting machine is being installed by the Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd. (NIGCOMSAT).

The House had exhaustively considered all the items in the report on July 18 and resolved to vote on them on July 23.

Announcing the deferment of the vote, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, apologised and pleaded with Nigerians to be patient and allow the assembly to instal a perfect voting system.

He explained that the assembly chose to use the EVM because 'there is nothing like manipulation in the voting process.''

The speaker promised that efforts were being made to perfect the working of the machine.

He said that the house wanted to perfect the system so as to give Nigerians a satisfactory result.

'I seek the understanding of the every Nigerian, we have decided to allow the system to work perfectly.

'What is worth doing is worth doing well, we want to take this process in a very transparent manner,' he said.

The speaker brought the Director-General of NIGCOMSAT,  Mr Ahmed Rufai, into the chambers to brief the legislators on the state of the EVM installation.

In his remark, Rufai gave an assurance that his organisation would instal a perfect electronic voting system that would produce credible and transparent results for Nigerians on the constitution review report.

Reacting to the suspension, Rep. Lanre Odubote (ACN-Lagos) in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said that the suspension of voting was to enable the electronic platform to be properly energised.

He said that it was only when the option of electronic voting failed that manual voting would be adopted.

Odubote appealed to Nigerians to exercise patience as the house would vote on the amendment on Wednesday.

According to him, the present amendment to the constitution will not address the fundamental issues confronting Nigeria as a country.

'As far as I am concerned, this constitution we are amending is just an attempt, it is not going to address the fundamental issues.

He said that the amendment did not take care of fiscal federalism, state police and devolution of power.

The legislator said that there was no substitute for a national conference but added that as long as his colleagues had decided to go ahead with the review, he had no option.