How technology eased Buhari’s victory: Zinox chief
By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
The Chairman of the, Zinox Group, Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, says the deployment of technology in Nigeria’s general elections assisted the winner of the presidential polls, Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd) to emerge clean and clear ahead of his closest opponent, President Goodluck Jonathan.
He added also that the integrity of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega who, in spite of all the provocations, conducted himself with honour and dignity.
Stan-Ekeh said the adoption of card reader technology reduced very significantly incidences of rigging, impersonation, multiple voting and other electoral vices thus clearing the coast for the peaceful conduct of the election and the emergence of a credible winner.
Ekeh, who chairs of the biggest ICT group in sub-Saharan Africa and who has been an apostle of digital technology adoption in Africa, urged an improvement on the card reader technology to graduate to a more innovative level such as electronic voting as a means of eliminating fraud in the electoral process.
He said: “Innovation is very important; we must embrace technology in every facet of our nation-hood to make this a reality. The just concluded elections went a long way in improving voters’ confidence in the process and this was due to the adoption of card readers and the personal integrity of Prof. Jega which saved the nation from crisis which could have resulted from an otherwise flawed process.
“However, we must keep our fingers on the handle of innovation to build more credibility in the system. In future elections, the option of electronic voting could be considered as this will definitely put paid to various forms of rigging. This will help create a situation where over 95 per cent of the electorate will begin to accept the outcome of an election as representing the will of the majority.”
Ekeh, whose Zinox Technologies demystified electoral registration for the 2007 and 2011 polls with the supply of computers and card readers which aided the building of a voter database for INEC, also urged government to give the youths freedom to succeed through technology.
“Technology helps unleash skill and style to the world and anyone who fails to embrace it runs the risk of being left behind. We must encourage the younger generation to achieve global success through technology.
“With the enabling environment and right policies by government, we can create many more billionaires of the calibre of Aliko Dangote and Mike Adenuga from our youths and the multiplier effects on our economy will go a long way in creating wealth and more jobs for a lot more people.”
He spoke at the quarterly seminar of the Nigeria Information and Communications Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA) in Lagos.
The seminar with Engendering Local Innovation in the Nigerian Telecoms Sector as its theme had a number of stakeholders in attendance and witnessed the presentation of an award to Chief Ekeh as a patron of the association.
The NITRA Quarterly Telecoms Seminar Series has been conceived to create a platform for cross-fertilization of ideas on topical issues among industry stakeholders both from the public and private sector with a view to proffering solutions to industry issues and design templates for leveraging latest development in the industry for growth.