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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Advancement in technology can solve our Problems- Pope Jero




To ; The Honorable Minister of Science and technology


Honorable Minister Sir,
I am sure this message will get to you someday if not now, maybe years to come.

Sir, permit me to give a brief about myself. I am Fowobaje Oluwaseun Gbenga also known as Pope Jero, a graduate of the prestigious Federal University of Technology, Akure. I had the privilege of answering the call for the nation’s service in Ogun State where I had the opportunity to serve as an electoral staff outsourced from the National Youth Service Corps Scheme.

During the just concluded National election, I was opportuned to work as an ad hoc staff and served as the Presiding officer of a polling unit.

With attendance irregularities occasioning the election, the welfare of the staffs deployed for the election is nothing to write home about. This include not just the temporary staffs, but the permanent staffs as well. I have a surge in my heart that we really need to find a lasting solution to this problem.


Time wastage as a matter to be addressed

The electorates are not left out as well, the long hours they spent while queuing to cast their votes and the precious hours spent to ensure that their votes are duly sorted out and declared party by party is uncalled for.

 We also need to address the Logistics in place, electoral officers (Corp members alike) will have to cancel out all unused ballot papers, counting the ballot papers, enumerate the ballot according to what each party score, record the result and all. All these time wasting events equally gives room for result falsification.

The stress incurred at RAC center, where there may be few Independent National Electoral Commission official on ground to attend to the polling unit officials also consume the time that should have been used for quick dissemination of the election result. All these anomalies give room for result manipulation.

Knowing that we are in a digital age, allowing staffs to go through all those stress is embarrassing not only to the employees but to the global image of the country as well.


Wasting of electoral materials

Using myself as a case study, I was given about 400 ballot papers each during the Presidential, Senatorial and House of Representatives elections, with two polling booths at my polling unit, 108 electorates voted in my booth with 113 electorates in the other booth manned by the APO.

Honorable Minister Sir, as an existing INEC rule, all unused ballot papers is to be cancelled after the election. That sums up to cancelling 1600 ballot papers in my polling unit alone, the multiplier effect across Wards, Local Government Areas, States and the Federation at large is so enormously a waste.

I advise at this point Sir, that it is time we start investing in the use of technology in the preparation, organization and moderation of our elections so that we can stop wasting scarce resources all in the name of conducting elections, whereas, the money utilized is tax payers money.


Security

Most times, lives and properties are destroyed during an election. Nigeria as a country must value the lives of every citizen of this country. People lose their lives because they want to exercise their franchise, it is really painful. If we can deploy technology it will be easy for the people to go out and vote without the fear of losing their lives in the process.

Credibility

Technology is known to be hierarchical, with the abundance of human resources abounded in Nigeria and in the diaspora, we can develop models and technologies that will make our election to become credible in the face of the world rather than glorifying in the shame that America with her huge technology and big democracy had her last election interfered upon by foreigners.

E-voting as suggested by some will lead to the disenfranchising the poorly educated Nigerians, but today most Nigerians uses a mobile phone. Worthy of note is the assumed educationally impoverished Northern region, but with appropriate voter education, we will overcome this challenge.


I appreciate you
sincerely for using your time to go through this piece, I am looking forward to meeting with you to share with you the contents of the various technological advancement I am opened to.

Yours in the national Service
Fowobaje Oluwaseun Gbenga Pope jero
Popefowobaje@gmail.com
OG/18C/1561

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