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The Federal Ministry of Communications says will partner the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to explore the role of ICT in reducing indices of electoral malpractices in the country.
The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu said in Abuja on Monday that the collaboration would provide the needed platform for stakeholders to brainstorm on harnessing ICT in advancing the country’s electoral process.
The minister in a statement issued to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said that the upcoming Electronic Campaigns Marketing Summit 2018 with the theme: “The Role of ICT in Electoral Process Management and Marketing Communications’’, would facilitate the use of ICT as a key tool in checking indices of electoral malpractices in Nigeria.
According to Shittu, the summit also aims at increasing public confidence in the country’s electoral process, using appropriate and cost effective technology.
“It will examine the role of communication between citizens and political actors as well as the inter dependence of internet and other mass media in ensuring credible, free and fair elections in 2019 and beyond.
“There is no gainsaying that technology has drastically reduced incidences of electoral malpractices such as ballot stuffing, result sheet mutilation, over voting, alteration of result sheets and hijacking of ballot boxes in the history of Nigeria elections.
“However, there is still need to get more sophisticated with technologies in order to meet up with international standard,’’ he added.
The minister further emphasised the importance of exploring the characteristics of online campaigns for 2019 general elections, taking into consideration the use of social media platforms to get candidates’ messages out to potential voters.The summit is scheduled for Oct. 2 and 3 in Abuja.