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  The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) kicked off the pilot scheme of the much-touted e-Registration on Monday, August 9 starting with Anambra, Osun, Ekiti, Edo, Adamawa and Sokoto States, among others.
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The first of its kind by any political party of National importance. It comes at a time the National Assembly is rejecting electronic result transfer of elections results by law. While further elucidating on the legacy that the e-Registration scheme should bring to the PDP, the party’s National Chairman of the party, Mr Uche Secondus, speaking at the opening ceremony in Abuja, said there was a need for parties to embrace online registration of members because the initiative will deepen the process of internal democracy in the party. He, Uche Secondus, reiterated further;
“The country must  migrate from analogue to digital because  data is  key to development, proper planning and a country’s ability to attract development from the global community…as a party, we cannot do otherwise; we are operating in social media space and  cannot do without data.”
PDP Board of Trustee Chairman, Sen. Walid Jibrin, also added in consonance that the e-Registration move is a sign that the party is getting ready for the 2023 general elections. There is no way to ascertain specifically if the embattled PDP chairman’s assertions would come through for the party as it wades through the waters of disunity even as the 2023 election approaches. Secondus claimed that in the past, party membership could be denied an aspiring member if incumbent members do not as incomers face, but online registration would have decentralised membership and eliminated gatekeeping.
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This point by the PDP chairman where online registration would provide Nigerians with a transparent platform to exercise democratic potentials for the youths especially is crucial.  Everyone knows how the recent party registration by the incumbent ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) was riddled with violence and anomalies. It was so scandalous that the recent APC ward level registration caused infighting between governors, senators, honourable and other chieftains. Although, having party registration done online will remove all of these bottlenecks, yet the risk of data integrity where certain elements may alter registration data from the main database cannot be brushed aside. In all, the willingness of the PDP to lead by example with an innovative technological approach to grassroots politicking is laudable. This party e-Registration implementation alone is a signal to the legislatures in Abuja who have chosen to remain in the dark ages when it comes to the Electoral Act. It also has the tendency to encourage smaller political parties to embark on grassroots mobilisation using a less costly channel – using technology via e-Registration to achieve what could have been too cumbersome for them. And finally, that an aspiring youth or tech-savvy Nigerian who wishes to join partisan politics – and have their say right from the grassroots level – can register from the comfort of their rooms, on their mobile phone or laptop is a win for advancing the political atmosphere in a country where many people don’t bother much about politics. If this is well-managed, in a few years and before the coming 2023 polls, we may begin to see a positive drive in political participation which may also later improve voter participation during elections. Featured Image Source: Punch Newspapers
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This article was first published on 24th August 2021

adedoyin

Macaddy is mostly a farmer in the day who also dabbles into technology at night, in search of other cutting edge intersections. He's on Twitter @i_fix_you


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