Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to adopt electronic voting to avoid conflicts during elections, drawing reference to a recent Ijaw National Congress election.
Diri disclosed this during the inauguration of the new INC leadership at the Ijaw House in Yenagoa, the state capital, on Friday.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, the governor said INEC’s failure to adopt e-voting had led to the politicisation and disrespect of state institutions.
He also said e-voting adoption would provide an opportunity for Nigerians in the diaspora to participate in elections.
He said, “I am an advocate and supporter of electronic voting. Many Nigerians have been denied the right to vote because they are not in Nigeria and cannot participate in choosing their leaders.
“It is a challenge to Nigeria. Let INEC be challenged. If the Ijaw can do it, the Federal Government can also do it.
“If the Ijaw can enfranchise the Ijaw in Europe and America to decide who lead them, INEC can equally do it. It will check violence, criminality and the politicisation of state institutions.”
The governor charged the new INC executive council to advance the cause of the Ijaw people through fairness and equity.
In his inaugural address, the new INC President, Prof Benjamin Okaba, pledged that the body would work for the progress of the Ijaw people.
Okaba also said the INC fully supported the recent pronouncements, including the ban on open grazing, by southern governors.