The Benue State University has conducted a crisis-free electronic voting election into various positions in the Student’s Union body.
The University introduced e-voting system due to the Covid 19 protocols and also to check election manipulation.
Hitherto, Students Union election in the institution had always witnessed violence with cultists hijacking the poll.
According to the Director of ICT in the school Mr. Terna Abuul the new Vice Chancellor Professor Tor Iorapuu came up with the innovation as a way of digitalizing operations in the school, adding that it is meant to avoid overcrowding because of COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Abuul said the technology was an off the shelf software which the University subscribed to.
“It is not a Nigerian developed system. It is foreign technology. It is cloud based and nobody can penetrate.
“Now, the system operates this way. Only students who have paid their tuition fees and are registered on the school portal are eligible to vote.
“We now harvested the names of such candidates and voters to constitute our voters’ regsiter. On the day of the election (Wednesday 2nd May, 2021, students received SMS and a link to their email addresses. We had instructed them to update their emails and phone numbers they intend to use to ensure that they are authentic.
“Now from their mobile phones especially those using smart phones, they were asked to click on the link that is the SMS which was sent to their phones and opens the platform which takes them to the environment where all the names of the contestants both for executive and parliamentary positions are listed.
“So, after ticking the position and their candidates, they have an opportunity to review it and certify if it was their preferred choice. If they are satisfied, they submit and their vote counts.
“One thing about the system is that you cannot duplicate it. The code generated is unique for each candidate and this worked very well. “
He disclosed that there were 15172 accredited voters with 97 candidates. He added that 10 students contested for the Student Union Government(SUG)president.
“The election lasted between 8 am and 2 pm after which the only lady who contested Miss Agatha Aker of Law Faculty emerged the SUG President . She scored 1037 votes which represented 17 percent of the 6,092 votes cast.
Many students hailed the innovation while describing it as a good move to stop the use of none students participating in the schools election.
According to Jane Peters,a student of the faculty of arts,the election was transparent and went without hitches.She called on the.Nigerian Government to adopt the innovation for future elections in the country.
Also Mr Terna Dura of the faculty of sciences commended the vice chancellor for the feat recorded.
He said with the achievement, the students for the first time chose their leaders on merit.
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