2023: No going back on BVAS, e-transmission of results – INEC
THE Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said it has no plan to jettison the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and electronic transmission of results for the 2023 general elections
INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu gave the assurance today in Lagos at a two-day capacity-building workshop for INEC press corp members on critical issues in the electoral Act, 2022 and the commission’s processes, innovations, and preparations for the 2023 general election.
Yakubu’s assurance came after the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) had earlier this month alleged that there secret plans by some politicians to stop the use of BVAS and electronic transmission of results for the 2023 elections
CUPP also alleged that a lawsuit has been instituted before the federal high court in Owerri, Imo state to that effect.
But the INEC chairman, represented by the National Commissioner and Chairman of, the Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, noted that the goal of the commission was electoral justice where every Nigerian would experience electoral fulfilment.
According to him, the commission would continue to use technology to improve and enhance the credibility of elections in Nigeria.
“The Commission is conscious that a credible voter register is a basic requirement for the conduct of a credible election. We have therefore devoted time and energy to cleaning up of the voter register using the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS). This process is almost finalized and the Commission will engage with stakeholders relating to its findings before displaying the register for claims and objections as required by law.
“Furthermore, the Commission is working out a protocol for seamless collection of Permanent Voters Cards by valid registrants. I want to assure Nigerians that the Commission will deploy and continue to deploy appropriate technology for the conduct of elections.
“The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and INEC Result Viewing Portal (IreV) will be deployed for the conduct of the 2023 general election. We will continue to use technology to improve and enhance the credibility of elections in Nigeria. Our goal is electoral justice where every Nigerian will experience electoral fulfilment”, he stated.
Speaking on the campaign slated to start on September 28, 2022, the INEC Chairman urged all the 18 registered political parties to critically study and pay attention to the provisions of the Constitution, the Electoral Act, the Police Act and the Public Order Act for the proper and peaceful conduct of political campaigns, rallies and processions.
According to him, a political campaign or slogan shall not be tainted with abusive language directly or indirectly likely to injure religious, ethnic, tribal or sectional feelings.
He warned that abusive, intemperate, slanderous or base language or innuendoes designed or likely to provoke violent reactions or emotions shall not be employed or used in political campaigns.
Yakubu added: “Let me also remind the media of their constitutional and legal obligations. State apparatus including the media shall not be employed to the advantage or disadvantage of any political party or candidate at any election. In other words, equal coverage and visibility shall be allotted to all political parties by all public print and electronic media organisations.
“The same applies in equal measure to privately owned media organisations subject to payment of appropriate fees.
“As I have pointed out, the Commission has entered the critical phase in the electoral process. As of today, the Commission has undertaken 8 out of the 14 items on the Calendar and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election.
“On September 20, 2022, the Commission released the Final List of Candidates standing nominated for National Elections (Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates, Senatorial and House of Representative Candidates).
“On October 4, 2022, the Commission will release the Final List of candidates standing nominated in relation to State Elections (Governorship, Deputy Governorship and State Assemblies). On September 28, 2022, Presidential and National Assembly campaigns will start while that of Governorship and State Assembly candidates will start on October 12, 2022.
“The Commission will continue to adhere to set timelines in carrying out its activities.”
Yakubu described the workshop as timely as preparations for the conduct of the 2023 general election, which he said is just 152 days away, has reached an advanced and critical stage.
“It is therefore important for the media especially the INEC Press Corp to have a good knowledge and understanding of the workings and operations of the Commission. This is necessary for an informed and balanced coverage of the Commission’s activities and the dissemination of information to the general public”, he added.