“If we are honest to ourselves, we must ask the questions how many part of Nigeria have the kind of facilities that Abuja, Sokoto, Portharcoirt , Ilorin or Enugu has? If your answer is yes, then I will say you are not being honest with Nigerians. As I speak to you today, there are parts of Nigeria that have not had energy or electricity for months or probably for years. If you go to Borno state you will see that without asking questions. There are other parts of the country, indeed the Southern part of the country that cannot boast of energy 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week. Now we are talking about transmission of reaults electronically, nobody is querrelling with that. The issue is we have tested electronic voting and where there is no energy as in national grid, they used generators.
“They take the voting equipment and charge them and when they go low you have to recharge them. Sometimes they may have to go somewhere to charge the batteries. It is as bad as that in Nigeria of 21st century. There is nothing wrong if we want to modernize, I see nothing wrong with it. But for heavens sake let’s be honest with ourselve. Knowing our politicians, because I am a politician myself and I have been in this business for God knows when, I am 75 years this year. And I can say on authority that some people deliberately want to have that leeway where they could go and start problem with transmission of results. But if we agree there is no energy and we agree on alternative way of transmission of results which people are familiar with the better. This will not be forever. As we improve, we introduce transmission of results through electronic means. All these talks about electronic transmission of results was not there before but today we are there.
“If we are patient to get to this point, why do we want to rush with e-voting. Let us get there first. You can’t provide electricity in a place, you can’t guarantee how your equipment are being charged to do it when you need to do it, so what do you do? That is what we are afraid of. During the debate on the issue at the National Assembly, people from particular part of this country gave evidence in persons as to the state of energy availability in the areas they come from. Who am I to deny that? They say he who wears the shoes knows best where it pinches him. So the principle is let us go for what we know and work on what we don’t know with time. But because some people have made up their minds, they say oh it’s because some people want to rig election and so they must have it.
“You see, there is something we do here when I was growing up when you point at a person and say you are a bastard, one finger actually points at the person you are calling bastard. The other three fingers are pointing towards you. All those people who think that those of us who opposed it have got some ulterior motive, they also have motives that was why they did what they did. It’s as same as that.”