A former Governor of Ogun, Chief Olusegun Osoba, on Monday, called on the National Assembly to include electronic voting as part of the amendment to the Electoral Act.
Osoba, who spoke at an event marking 160 years of journalism in Nigeria in Abeokuta, said that Nigeria had no excuse not to digitalise its voting process.
The veteran journalist spoke on the theme: “Re-inventing the Practice of Journalism in Nigeria, with emphasis on the influence of Social Media”.
According to him, it is regrettable that the electoral process in Nigeria has been bastardised.
He renewed the call for the amendment of the Electoral Act, saying that vote buying, rigging and ballot box snatching were among the challenges plaguing the country’s electoral process.
“I’m shocked at what we have now (electoral process) because it is worse than corruption,” Osoba said.
The former governor stated that the inclusion of electronic voting in the Electoral Act would put an end to electoral fraud in Nigeria.
“The day we stop selling our votes, that day, we will get it right and start electing the right people into political offices.
“That is why I have been pushing for the amendment to the Electoral Act. Let us all support and fight for the review of the act. Let us fight for electronic voting.
“We need to go electronic in voting in Nigeria because Ghana has gone electronic; Kenyan has gone electronic; we have no excuse not to get digital in our electoral process; the day of analogue system is gone,” Osoba said.
He attributed the falling standard of journalism in Nigeria to poor remuneration of journalists, saying it was unpardonable that employers should owe salaries.
“It is an offence unto God and even man,” he said.
Speaking at the event, Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun urged veteran journalists to use the celebration to appraise the influence of the social media on journalism practice.
The governor disagreed with calls for death sentence for those who abused the social media as a tool for information dissemination.
He added that the proposed social media law before the National Assembly should not be seen as targeting or gagging the critical media or curtailing free speech.
Rather, the governor said that the law should be seen as a way of holding journalists accountable for their reports.
He, however, bemoaned the rise of malicious and deliberate misinformation by some unethical social media users.
Abiodun urged journalists to always guard against forces seeking to use them for their selfish interests, saying that it was important to distance the profession from partisanship. (NAN