From Esther Akaa, Lafia
A former Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has advocated strict adherence to the electoral law and proper compilation of voters register and other measures as means of guaranteeing a long-lasting, genuine electoral process in Nigeria.
Aregbesola who is also the immediate past Minister of Interior, made the advocacy at the 7th International Conference of the Professional Statisticians Society of Nigeria (PSSN) held on Wednesday in Keffi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
The Ex-governor while presenting a paper entitled “Towards free, fair and credible election” emphasised the role statistics play in ensuring a credible electoral process in the country calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to adhere strictly on the electoral law in its conduct of election in the country.
“To ensure sustainable credible electoral process in Nigeria, we must adhere strictly to the electoral law. There should also be a proper compilation of voters register.
“Also the logistics should be smooth and seamless and the process of counting votes and collation of results should be transparent and the rules be followed, to eliminate anything that can detract from the integrity of the election,” he said.
In his remarks, President of PSSN, Prof. Waheed Yahaya, said the essence of the conference was to come together as a professional body and see how to contribute to the betterment of the society even as statisticians.
He said the choice of the theme was chosen for discussion because the trending issue in the minds of the average Nigerian is how to make things better with regards to Nigeria’s electoral processes.
“We have just concluded 2023 general elections and you can see a lot of litigations out there. So how can we avert this and get it right in future elections?
“We believe lack of the usage of appropriate data is one of the ways forward. So if we do it right by collecting necessary data and using it appropriately we will be better for it.
“That is why we thought it right to invite players in the politics to do justice to the theme of the conference and the key lead paper presenter is the former governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola,” he said.
Yahaya therefore lauded the lead paper presenter, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for suggesting ways to improve the current electoral process and how statisticians can play a key role in improving Nigeria’s electoral process.
“If voters data are linked to National Identification Number, there won’t be multiple registration and underage voting will be eradicated. It is instances like this that statisticians who are experts in data management play their part in improving the electoral process.
“If data collection is harmonisation, it will also save costs and engender credibility to the data collected. This is our collective focus to put across to the stakeholders because without credible date, we can’t have good results in terms of decision making,” he said.
Earlier in a welcome address, Prof. Suleiman Bala-Mohammed, Vice Chancellor of Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK) applauded PSSN for holding the international conference in the institution and picking the theme of the conference which he described as apt.
He, therefore urged the society to find a way of encouraging the study of statistics because, according to him, statistics is very important to Nigeria’s socio-economic development.
The Voice reports that the theme of the conference was “The pathway towards sustainable credible electoral process in Nigeria”.