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Young Professionals Prepare Government and INEC for Technology Revolution

Nigeria’s 2011 Elections SHOWDOWN is a TV programme which airs on Channels TV daily at 3.15pm – 4pm on weekdays from March 14th to April 22nd 2011.

The focus of the programme is for young Nigerians to match advocacy with action through a peaceful revolutionary platform and the pivotal role of RISE is to inform and enlighten young people on their fundamental rights as major determinants of winners and losers in the electoral process while also demanding accountability from elected office holders at all levels of government.
BN will be bringing you periodic updates on topics discussed on the TV programme.

Last week, the participants Nwoye Osita and Busayo Akanro discussed the role of social media and technology as viable tools of change in electoral reform. The show was anchored by Chinedu Chidi.
Chinedu Chidi got the participants into discussion by asking how ready Nigerians are for the 2011 Elections using the Social Media?
Busayo Akanro, a “nation builder” estimated the percentage of ICT growth in Nigeria at about 60%. He emphasized that masses can produce content that has a positive impact on the media, these include videos which can be uploaded unto social networking platforms.
He also gave insight on how the internet can be a useful source of free information while enabling users to be in control of whatever information they wish to share. He added that the anonymity of the internet and some technology devices makes it easier to share information as no permission, licence or information bill is required to disseminate information.
Another guest Osita Nwoye, an Internet Consultant shared that, “There is no amount of what we do electronically for example on Blackberry of Facebook that can replace how it could be done in reality.”
He agreed to the fact that, the social networking platforms are going to be useful during the elections, because it will be used to monitor activities at the polls and to prevent electoral frauds He said “We will not leave it in their hands, we will tweet, facebook, send sms, and pictures to find out if there is electoral violence or not. Clips of video taken will be posted on youtube communicated across to the people. So that anyone that rigs would be disgraced on Facebook,Twitter and all the internet blogs. This is to ensure that people are carried along and not waiting for INEC.”
He noted that it is imperative to ensure that the technologies and gadgets put in place by INEC for the elections in used accordingly. He also lauded the INEC for the technology put in place for the just concluded voter registration in Nigeria.
Also on the show, Mayowa Owolabi, a Technology Development Professional stated that things are very different from what we used to have in the past as the use of social media has bridged the gap between people in government and the masses compared to what we used to have in the past.
He said there is a software newly invented that works with Blackberries and java enabled phones called REVODA . “It is a mobile app that allows voters to report election activities as independent election observers from their respective polling units across Nigeria. ReVoDa also allows EiE Nigeria Network to send relevant information about the electoral process to registered users in specific locations.
The app also provides a complete list of political parties and their acronyms. You can use this list for reference on party acronyms when inputing party results in the reporting section.”
The likelihood of Government sabotaging means of Communication during the Elections is being analyzed.
sita Nwoye explained that, if the government decided to sabotage means of communication, they will be at the receiving end of the action as well, because they will not be able to reach out to people on these platforms too.
In conclusion social media can be used to pass positive or negative information. In view of this it is therefore advised that, masses should know the authenticity of information passed on the internet and all media related devices.

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