We Have Won a Referendum On Our Programmes, By Nasir El-Rufai

   We Have Won a Referendum On Our Programmes, By Nasir El-Rufai

  We Have Won a Referendum On Our Programmes, By Nasir El-Rufai

We accepted the challenge to put our record of service after almost three years in office to the test. In fact, the local government elections were construed as a referendum on the performance of our government. Tales were being told by an entitled, but frustrated, elite that our people would punish us at the polls for taking consequential decisions in favour of ordinary people.


It is my privilege today to thank the people of Kaduna State for the peaceful and orderly conduct of the local government elections across the State. Although issues arose in a few places, the people deserve our gratitude for the maturity with which they participated in enthroning democratic rule at the local level.

At considerable cost, the Kaduna State government invested in electronic voting machines to promote electoral integrity and transparency. It appeared the logical next step following the game-changing introduction of the smart card reader by thr Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2015 elections. But these costs are actually savings since the machines can be used for several elections, while avoiding the cost of printing ballot papers.

Despite apprehension by some political experts, we never doubted that our people will embrace electronic voting. Voters have acknowledged the successful operation of the electronic voting machine, with its user-friendly interface and quick voting process.

On May 12, 2018, the people of Kaduna State heralded a new chapter in elections in Nigeria, using electronic voting, and a government that was determined to respect the outcome.

The people of Kaduna State can congratulate themselves that they have, in practice, conclusively made the argument for the country as a whole to fully automate the voting process. Following the successful performance of the machines, Kaduna State is prepared to make its electronic voting machines available to any state government that wishes to embrace electronic voting, on terms to be agreed on.

These local government elections have demonstrated that the All Progressives Congress (APC) government of Kaduna State, which you mandated us to lead in 2015, stands resolutely for free and fair elections. We have placed the credibility and integrity of the electoral process above the discredited practice of previous governments that sought to win every contested seat, and by all means.

The people of Kaduna State can congratulate themselves that they have, in practice, conclusively made the argument for the country as a whole to fully automate the voting process. Following the successful performance of the machines, Kaduna State is prepared to make its electronic voting machines available to any state government that wishes to embrace electronic voting, on terms to be agreed on.

Sylvester Patrick

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