It is mid-afternoon on the Friday before the local government elections in Kaduna State. Dr. (Mrs.) Saratu Binta Dikko-Audu, chairman of the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (KAD-SIECOM), has been on her feet for the most part of the day moving from one end of the commission’s premises to the other. The compound itself is buzzing with activities like a bee hive, marking a culmination of events that have taken place over the past 6 months. The Kaduna State local government elections were earlier slated for the 30th of December 2017 and subsequently cancelled. KAD-SIECOM suspended the elections because the State House of Assembly had not passed the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission Bill No. 10 of 2012 into law.
The bill, which would allow the use of electronic machines for voting and verification in the state local government and council elections, was finally passed on the 6th of February 2018. The elections were subsequently rescheduled for last Saturday, May 12, 2018.
Back at the KAD-SIECOM premises, there is an undeniable tension in the air, and understandably so. History is about to be made as the state prepares to conduct Nigeria’s first and Africa’s second electronic voting elections.