By AbdulRaheem Aodu Kaduna
Kaduna state Independent Electoral Commission (KADSIECOM) said it needed 6,000 electronic voting machines for the conduct of Kaduna state local government elections. KADSIECON, which said it had concluded arrangements for the local government polls, said it would become the fi rst in Nigeria and the second country in Africa to use electronic voting after Namibia. Other countries where EVM have been used include Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Curacao, Haiti, Mexico, Phillipines, USA and Venezuela. Addressing correspondents in Kaduna,where the EV machine was demonstrated, Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Saratu Binta Audu, assured of the commission’s readiness to conduct elections once they take delivery of all the 6,000 machines
required to cover the 5,101 polling units across the 255 wards in the state. She said the electronic voting machine needed for the exercise are ready while the commission staff have been trained on how to use them. Th e KADSIECOM boss said the machine will be taken to all the polling units in the state where the electorates will have the opportunity of demonstrating it’s usage for at least three days before the election. Dr. Saratu said they have not picked a date for the Kaduna local government polls because they are yet to take delivery of all the 6,000 EVM machines and they don’t want to pick a tentative date, adding that once KADSIECOM picks a date for polls it becomes sacrosanct and will not be changed for any reason whatsoever. “We have 5,101 polling units but some are very large that we have to split them into two polling units. Th at explains why we need 6,000 machines for the polls”, she said. She said the advantages of using the electronic voting machine are that, it will ensure free, fair and credible election and minimize instances of rigging. She urged for media support to ensure free, fair and credible election that is devoid of violence.