The Delta State University, DELSU, Abraka has conducted the first ever solely online Students’ Union Government election in Nigeria. The election software developed by the University enabled the students, during the just concluded students’ union government election, to vote online from any location within and outside the University.
As the students voted using their mobile devices such as smartphones, communication tablets, laptop computers, the results were made visible to any of them who logged on to the voting site and this made the election seamless, peaceful and comfortable.
According to the Dean of Students’ Affairs, Professor Augustus Atubi, this online electoral feat was attained because of the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Victor Finipaya Peretomode’s flair for the continuous adoption, acquisition and application of digital tools and processes in the institution.
He added that the Vice Chancellor has put together a crack team of professional Information and Communication Technologies developers in the ICT Unit of the University who have made groundbreaking digital innovations. According to him, the online voting platform is just one of the digital innovations propelled by Prof. Peretomode.
For instance, the Senate meetings of the University are digitalized, examinations of 100 and 200 level students are conducted digitally and the University operates a digital result engine that enables students, parents and sponsors to access students’ results from anywhere in the world almost immediately after examinations are conducted.
Prof. Atubi noted that the Vice Chancellor’s love for the development and deployment of ICT in the University among staff and students has added to placing the University in a better and positive local and global visibility and has made admission seekers and their parents make DELSU a preferred destination for academic and moral excellence.
The Dean of Students explained that the process involves the students to log in to the site using their names and matriculation numbers as users’ name and passwords respectively. The names, pictures and positions of the candidates show immediately. Thereafter, the students vote by clicking the columns of their preferred candidates and press the submit icon. The results are automatically transmitted online to the server and made visible to anyone accessible to the server.
It would be recalled that in 2018, a lecturer from the institution, Dr. Emmanuel Ufuophu-Biri, had during his lecture at the celebration of NTA at 40 in Asaba advocated and prescribed measures and methods for a totally digital electoral process in the country.
Meanwhile, the students commended the Vice Chancellor for the adoption of the online voting method adding that online voting experience was like exactly what they read, watch or hear about the electoral processes in advanced countries. They added that the online voting was very easy, interesting, credible, transparent, free and fair and encouraged its adoption at the larger society level.
The students also commended the VC for his students’ friendly disposition which is further demonstrated through the adoption and application of the current online voting system.
A very senior lecturer of the University who spoke on the condition of anonymity advised that relevant institutions and electoral bodies in Nigeria and beyond could approach DELSU to learn this electoral process from the institution.