Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, has called on the National Assembly to allow the use of electronic means of transmitting results of future elections in the country.
Mr Jonathan made the call on Wednesday while delivering a lecture at the inauguration Ceremony/lecture of the National Defence College (NDC), Course 30, in Abuja.
The former president, who was the Special Guest of Honour and Guest Speaker at the occasion, spoke as the Harmonisation Committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives prepares to meet to resolve the differences in the bill passed in July.
A major and controversial provision in the bill is Section 52, which deals with electronic transmission of results of elections.
During the consideration and passage, the Senate changed this Section from; “The Commission may transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable” to “The commission may consider electronic transmission provided the national network coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the Nigerian Communications Commission and approved by the National Assembly.”
But the House, however, retained the former.
Mr Jonathan, who lost the 2015 presidential election to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, and quickly conceded, urged the lawmakers to allow electronic transmission elections result for transparency and to avoid crisis.
He also urged Nigerians to have confidence in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to avoid an electoral crisis each time there was a general election.
“Where there is no confidence in the electoral umpire, people resort to crisis. But unfortunately, sometimes when the result comes out, the damage would have been done.
“I urge the National Assembly (NASS), while looking at the law, they should allow the use of electronic means of transmitting results for the sake of transparency as well as avoiding electoral crisis,” he said.
Mr Jonathan also called on Nigerians, civil society groups, among others, to join hands in securing the country against the activities of insurgency and banditry.
The former president noted that security is the business of every Nigerian, whether in media, civil society, traditional rulers, religious leaders and politicians.
He said security should not be left in the hands of the governments alone.
Mr Jonathan added that “security was not just about defending the borders, but that the people needed to join hands too in securing lives and properties of the citizens, especially in areas of access to food, water, and education, among others.”
“It is very obvious that these days people don’t go to farms anymore because of one fear or the other. Everybody should be involved in securing the country. Yes, the government will do its part but we as individuals should also do our own part.
ALSO READ: INEC insists it’s ready for electronic transmission of election results
“My humble suggestion is that the government and stakeholders should do a lot of dialogue. When you start talking sometimes it reduces the anger in people. We must build this issue of human security and the security of the country,” he said.
The former president, however, stressed the need for Nigerians to come together to develop “a certain culture that would make the country grow and develop better.”
This, he said, would go a long way in reducing tension, crisis and other social vices among Nigerians, especially the youth.
Mr Jonathan urged the participants to avail themselves of the knowledge acquired during the course of the training into carrying out their lawful and professional duties.
Also, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Lucky Irabor, a general, said that though there were still pockets of attacks by the insurgents and bandits, generally, insecurity had drastically reduced, especially with the induction of the Super Tucano aircraft.
He urged Nigerians to oblige the security agencies relevant information as the nation’s quest to tackle insurgency and other criminal activities are sacrosanct.
Mr Irabor, however, urged the participants to make the best use of the knowledge acquired during the course of their training to add value to their operations and the country at large.
Meanwhile, the Commandant of the college, Oladele Daji, a rear admiral, noted that the inauguration was an enduring tradition to formally launch participants into the course as well as admitting them into the culture of excellence of the college.
According to him, “since the inception of the college in 1992, it has continued to deliver on its core mandate of providing strategic level training in the area of management of defence and research.”