Laolu Akande, a former presidential aide and veteran journalist, has expressed support for the legislative proposal to hold all national elections on a single day. Acknowledging the potential advantages, Akande emphasized the need for readiness from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to address the associated challenges.
Speaking as a news analyst on Channels TV 10pm News Flagship on Saturday night, February 10, 2024, Akande commended the innovative adoption of the idea. He pointed out that historical records indicate that Nigeria has not conducted all elections on the same day, making such an approach unique.
Highlighting the advantages, Akande mentioned that simultaneous elections could reduce the overall cost, enhance voter convenience, and potentially increase voter turnout. Additionally, he noted that conducting elections on a single day could avoid collateral issues, allowing people to engage in other activities without disruptions to economic, academic, and social spheres.
Despite the potential benefits, Akande raised concerns about the logistical challenges faced by INEC and security agencies. He emphasized the need for proper management of terrain, geographical issues, and the unique demands of simultaneous elections.
Addressing the logistics issues, Akande noted the historical absence of such an approach in Nigeria since 1979, where national and state elections were held on separate days. While acknowledging the challenges, he suggested that if INEC and security agencies can manage the logistical complexities, the simultaneous election approach might be worthwhile for Nigeria.
On the issue of technology, Akande acknowledged its potential to ease challenges, particularly in electronic transmission of results. He suggested that advanced technology could reduce the logistical burden associated with collation centers and the movement of materials.
However, Akande stressed the importance of top-notch technology to avoid the setbacks experienced in February of the previous year. He highlighted the need for effective electronic transmission and a reliable technological infrastructure for the successful implementation of the proposed simultaneous elections.
In conclusion, Akande characterized the simultaneous election concept as a novel idea, emphasizing the importance of addressing logistical challenges and ensuring technological readiness for its practical implementation.