By Christiana Ekpa
A member of the House of Representatives from Ekiti State, Hon. Femi Bamisile, has tasked the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on aggressive spread of telecommunication networks across the country to accommodate electronic voting in the 2027 general elections.
The former Ekiti Speaker, Bamisile, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), clarified that over 37 million Nigerians will be disenfranchised if electronic voting is adopted for the impending 2023 polls, which he said was not in tandem with the spirit of democracy.
The lawmaker, representing Gbonyin/Emure/Ekiti East Federal Constituency of Ekiti State, said these in Ado Ekiti, while distributing free petrol to 1,000 commercial motorcycle operators popularly called okada riders in the state capital.
Bamisile, who said e-voting is now in vogue globally, which he said Nigeria must embrace, said: “Technology is now being adopted for free, fair and credible polls and Nigeria must move with the tide of civilisation.
“It is the best option for Nigeria,but a situation where only 50 percent of our voting population have access to a network makes it impracticable now. About 37m of our voting population will be shut out of the electoral system.
“But NCC as a Federal Government’s regulatory agency must begin aggressive action that will ensure 100 percent network coverage before the 2027 elections. Nigeria has no excuse than to embrace e-voting in 2027”
Speaking about his humanitarian service to the people, Bamisile, said a total of 1,000 Okada riders received free petrol in the first phase of the programme.
Describing the level of joblessness among the youth in the country as frightening and disturbing, Bamisile stated that he would soon begin a special empowerment programme for degree and Higher National Diploma holders among Okada riders in the state.
“This empowerment programme was meant to support the commercial motorcyclists in Ekiti. They have a population of over 15,000 in Ekiti with over 5,000 parading either BSC or HND certificates, so they need our support.
“I am going to do the headcount of HND and BSC holders among them and soon, I will do a special empowerment for these people that really befits their academic status . And those who are not well certificated but have interest in skills and vocational training will be trained among them.
“We are also extending the same gesture to commercial drivers in the future”, he stated.