Reintroduce Option A4, Lagos PDP stalwart urges FG

A stalwart of the Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Ola Apena, has called on the Federal Government to reintroduce the `Option A4 voting system in the country.

Apena made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, on Wednesday.

Apena, who was reacting to the allegation by a coalition of accredited election observers that the Edo governorship election was rigged in APC’s favour, said that if reintroduced, Option A4 would eliminate any form of election malpractice.

“I think we should go back to Option A4 because Option A4 does not allow for this kind of manipulation.

“Once, a line is formed at the appointed time, if you have been accredited, they will give you something to show that you have been accredited, you come back, you line up and they count you.

“I think, our level of tolerance, our level of honesty, our level of transparency in this country does not accommodate this balloting system that we are using because we will always find desperadoes not necessarily within APC, but even with the PDP,” he said.

The PDP chieftain expressed regret that the social media was compounding INEC’s problems as results announced at the various polling units were usually posted on the internet, thus making any form of manipulation thereafter difficult.

“The advent of social media is creating a lot of problems for the electoral body because as the results are announced at each polling unit, so it goes on internet. “It is a big problem because when you now go behind and start cancelling, doing all sorts of things, giving us some reasons why you have to cancel, people will doubt the outcome of the election.”

“It is not good for our democracy,’’ Apena said.

In Nigeria, Open ballot system (Obs), also known as Option A4, is a voting method in which voters vote openly by queuing or otherwise, indicating the candidate of their choice.

This is as opposed to a secret ballot, where a voter’s choices are confidential.

The Open ballot system was first adopted in the Third Republic during the 1993 Nigerian presidential election – an election that was widely regarded as the freest and fairest in the country’s political history.