The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu has been berated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for expressing doubts over the credibility of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System and Results Viewing Portal which will be deployed for the 2023 general election.
VANTAGE NEWS reports that Tinubu had while speaking on Monday at the Chatham House in London, United Kingdom, said the electoral body had yet to assure Nigerians of the workability of the BVAS and e-transmission of poll results.
Tinubu spoke weeks after the ruling party’s National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, and the National Organising Secretary, Suleiman Argungu, expressed concerns over the planned deployment of BVAS for next year’s election.
Tinubu had while speaking in Chatham House, said, “We are still building confidence in our democratic and voting system. INEC is yet to assure us (that) during this election that electronic transmission, the technology being used for accreditation and the total vote count, is reliable, dependable and assuring in our democratic process before we introduce a complicated element of ballot counting.”
Reacting, INEC expressed shock that the former Lagos State governor could question the efficiency of the technology which had been used in several polls including gubernatorial elections in Anambra, Osun, and Ekiti states.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of INEC, Rotimi Oyekanmi, told The Punch that INEC has been discussing the pros and cons of the electronic system since 2020.
He said, ‘’The Independent National Electoral Commission has been talking about the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, its features, strengths and advantages since 2020 when it was introduced to replace our beloved Smart Card Reader.
“At every quarterly meeting that the commission held with leaders of political parties since this BVAS was introduced, and I am talking about more than five meetings, it has always been on the agenda and discussed. My presumption is that both the national chairman and secretary of all the political parties that attend our meetings also brief their presidential candidates about the issues discussed.
‘’More importantly, we have conducted off-season governorship elections in Ekiti, Osun and Anambra states using the BVAS and all of these elections have generally been described and accepted as free, fair, credible, and inclusive by all and sundry. The governors elected have quietly been enjoying their respective tenures. Don’t forget that we also deployed it for the Federal Capital Territory area council election and it was a huge success.
‘’The BVAS has been trending on social media platforms and even foreigners visiting Nigeria for the first are asking: ‘What is this BVAS thing?’’
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