As Nigeria draws closer to its 2019 presidential elections, there’s one question on everyone lips, will the election be free and fair? Like most countries in Africa Nigeria still leans on a paper centred method of conducting elections. While other parts of the world had moved on to electronic voting, Nigeria leans on manual and paper voting. It is no wonder that the governorship election of Osun state, a South Western state in Nigeria was declared inconclusive. However, can the trust of the people and hope of a free and fair election be won through a blockchain based election?
Blockchain should be considered in the Nigerian electoral situation to achieve real-time results and enhance the integrity of voting. The blockchain technology is a distributed ledger and stakeholders can verify results in real time. Also, since the blockchain is immutable tampering with results will be near impossible. The transparent and traceable nature of the blockchain can allow results to be tracked down to the very voter. Voters could thumbprint on an electronic device and have the votes automatically displayed as a number.
However, despite how great the idea of a blockchain election in Nigeria sounds numerous factors acts as a constraint. First, the issue of electricity if an electrical device were to be used. Secondly, technology is neither good nor evil only people can exhibit these traits. How will the blockchain then be able to stop electoral violence? In the case of Osun state elections the Independent Nigerian Electoral Commision (INEC) Returning Officer (RO) for the election Prof. Joseph Fuwape declared the election inconclusive. This was as a result of Ademola Adeleke the candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate polled a 353 vote lead getting 254,698 lead against Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who scored 254,345. However, the results were declared inconclusive due to disruptions, malfunction of Electronic Card Readers and over-voting).
However the question we really need to ask is how well suited is a blockchain based voting for the electoral condition of Nigeria?
What do you think about a blockchain based election in Nigeria? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.
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