Politicians try to manufacture BVAS, INEC official alleges

Independent National Election Commission Department Head, Voter Education and Publicity Achumie Rex alleged Wednesday that some politicians were making frantic efforts to build the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System machine and hack into the commission’s server before the general elections of 2023. .

This was how he reiterated the election referee’s determination to make the 2023 general election free and fair, adding that there would be simultaneous accreditation and voting on election days.

Rex made this point at a two-day workshop for civil society organizations on Voter Education, organized by the Transition Monitoring Group and supported by USAID.

Responding to questions from participants shortly after delivering a document titled: “2023 Election Commission and Technology,” Rex revealed that INEC was working around the clock to ensure the integrity of its server was maintained during and after the election.

He said: “There is no room to hack into the INEC server,” adding that “politicians are trying their best to break into the INEC server or even to make BVAS, but unfortunately for them, INEC is three steps ahead of their plans”.

Allaying fears of a network problem that would make BVAS work effectively in rural areas, he said that BVAS was built on a dual foundation: “online and offline.”

Handing over his document, Rex said: “Right now, Nigerians are gradually saying goodbye to the dark days when the voter register was infested with foreign names and those days when election results were announced while the vote was still in progress. […]the 22 innovations introduced by the electoral management body, among them the IReV and the BVAS, have allowed the country to be light years away from its electoral debacle.

“Recent disclosures by Professor Mahmood Yakubu show that the commission has carried out 105 elections using the IReV, while uploading 32,985 (99.13%) out of 33,275 possible results, having recorded a 100% upload rate in the elections. for governors of Ekiti and Osun that have just concluded. .

“Besides voting, results management is easily the most critical aspect of election administration. Although voting is an open and public activity, results management is generally handled by a few election officials, mostly out of public view. Therefore, it is necessary to promote transparency in this in the best possible way.

“Other innovations that appear to have improved the system include biometric voter registration, computerized voter registration, online pre-registration, chipped Permanent Voter Credentials, the creation of online portals for candidates, observers, and political party representatives. among others, that they have all come a long way in standardizing Nigeria’s election management system,” he said.

He expressed his optimism that with the introduction of various technologies in the country’s electoral management, which, according to him, had increased citizens’ confidence in the process, citizen participation in the elections “would reach at least 50% electoral participation ”.

In his commentary, TMG President Auwal Musa, who was represented at the workshop by Miriam Menkiti, said the workshop was part of his year-long project labeled ‘Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement Project (SCALE )’.

He said the aim of the workshop “is to achieve the desired results in improving the quality of elections in Nigeria by ensuring that citizens are adequately and effectively mobilized and sensitized to actively participate in elections in Nigeria.”

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