Erudite scholar, seasoned political scientist, and lawmaker representing Owan Federal Constituency of Edo State in the National Assembly, Julius Ihonvbere, has poohpooped the excuse of non-availability of network adduced for voting against electronic transmission of election results and e-voting by the parliament.
In a chat with newsmen on Monday when he presented his mid-term score card to his constituents in Owan East, Ihonvbere blamed the defeat of the bill on electronic transmission of election results and E-Voting on external and internal forces within the legislative arm.
He, however, posited that the debate on the Bill exuded the beauty of democracy, stating that at the end, majority won the day.
Expressing his conviction that electronic transmission of results and e-voting, were possible, Ihonvbere noted that INEC card reader “uses a SIM; and in the over 190,000 polling booths, there were card readers using SIM. People are writing NECO, people are writing WAEC; they are doing computer- based tests. But Nigeria must move forward”.
He insisted that there was no excuse for the issue of non-availability of network.
“When are we going to grow and agree that where we are, we should leave there? Other countries are moving forward -Rwanda, Ghana, around us”, Ihonvbere lamented.
However, he submitted that “That is the beauty of democracy. We can’t all agree. I support electronic transmission. I know that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has the capacity for electronic transmission of results unless INEC wants to say those card readers they sent to certain parts of the country are for decoration in which case all the elections done through INEC should be cancelled; but it is not”.
He said he supported “electronic transmission of election results but there is politics within and outside the National Assembly; and majority they say, carries the day”.
Also updating his constituents on the proposed University of Sports that is to be sited at Afuze, Ihonvbere explained that it had passed the third reading and expressed optimism that President Muhammadu Buhari would give his consent to it.
According to him, “I don’t know why the president will not sign because this is a plus to him to be the one who established the first university of sports. We have hundreds of sports men and women who have retired who will be ready to use this institution to train our athletes; we are not doing well in sports.
“How many events are we going for at the next Olympics? Very clearly, Nigeria has gone down. How many Nigerians are playing in the top four teams of the premier league now? In the days of Okocha, Kanu, and others, those days have gone. We are not breaking any new world records. The Federal University of Sports, Afuze, will help Nigeria to do that”.
Ihonvbere noted that sport “is now big business, big business. The UK, they are making billions every year from sports, not just endorsements; but we are losing money.
“People are not watching our national Leagues anymore. So, on the side of business, in the part of physical health, in the part of intellectual development, in the part of building capable athletes to represent Nigeria to win laurels, the president will sign it”.
The federal lawmaker further noted that Afuze already had the facilities for the proposed university, stressing that “it is not going to cost money to do it. It is these same facilities that (late Samuel) Ogbemudia used to produce top-rated athletes for Nigeria”.
Applauding the presentation of the mid-term report, a vote of confidence was passed on him by his appreciative constituents for bringing Federal Government presence to his area.
The motion for the vote of confidence was moved by Henry Okaka, and seconded by Fred Omoigberai, a former member of the Edo State House of Assembly.