Nigerian Society of Engineers cancels elections over cyber rigging

The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has cancelled the results of its December 9 election into its national offices over allegations of rigging.

NSE President Babagana Mohammed disclosed this at a news conference on Thursday, in Abuja. He said a rerun has been ordered at the society’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Mr Mohammed noted that the decision to cancel the election came about after the council discovered that the database of the society had been compromised.

“It is with great trepidation that I inform you that the 2021 NSE election on December 9, was later discovered to have more flaws and criminal cyber breach,” he announced.

“This unprecedented occurrence is threatening the integrity of our election process and the integrity of the Nigerian Society of Engineers locally and internationally.

“As a responsible president who swore to uphold the ethics and integrity of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, I have no option than to declare the election that was conducted on Dec. 9, 2021 cancelled.

“And, on behalf of the Council, ordered a rerun of the election after provision of adequate security for the society’s database,” Mr Muhammed added.

Mr Muhammed said that according to records made available to him, 406 emails of members were hacked and the number was increasing with ongoing investigation, many of whom could not vote electronically and said this was unacceptable.

He said engineering as a profession was meant to solve problems and this challenge was one that the society must solve in preparing the country for the larger national elections in 2023.

“Nigeria and the world are planning to go online. If engineers cannot conduct elections online, then who can? What confidence do you want to give Nigerians?  These are the issues at stake, it is an issue of integrity and we are saying No! We must get it right.

“Once engineers get it right, every other person must get it right. We engaged NigComSat as our consultant in this activity and they have submitted a report, and they have confirmed the illegalities.

“NigComSat gave me a report that our system was hacked, some votes came from nowhere  under, so, we want to establish that this is already a criminal breach.

“It has been confirmed by NigComSat and our national committee that our system has been hacked. NSE is a smaller Nigeria, if we cannot get it right in this house, nowhere will get it right.

“For us, the deputy president is already elected, the incoming president is already elected by constitution in the last election so what we are now after is the new deputy president and the exco to run the affairs of the society in 2022.

“The incoming president is a done deal, we already have the person who will take over first January, no argument about that and no issue about his selection but the issue we now have is those that were selected on the last election, that December 9.”

Mr Muhammed will be ending his tenure as NSE president on December 31, and Tasiu Wudil will assume office as the next NSE president.


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