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2023: INEC dismisses alleged plot to dump BVAS

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THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has dismissed an alleged plot to jettison the the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machine for the 2023 general elections.

INEC spokesperson Festus Okoye described the allegation by the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) as empty and baseless.

CUPP, a body of political parties in Nigeria, had on Wednesday during a press conference in Abuja alleged that there were plans to compromise and stop the BVAS machine from being used for the elections.

CUPP spokesperson Ikenga Ugochinyere said the group had also uncovered a plot to remove the INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu from office should he fail to stop the use of the BVAS.

The allegations and others, including the compromise of the national voters’ register, which CUPP had also raised in the past, have generated a lot of concerns about INEC’s independence and the credibility of next year’s polls.

However, in his reaction, Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, dismissed CUPP’s allegations.

Okoye told newsmen that the BVAS machine was a national asset, adding that its usage for the conduct of the polls was irreversible.

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He stressed that the BVAS machine was already backed by the Constitution, and it would therefore be criminal for it not to be used.

While stating that the Commission had delivered the BVAS machines to 23 states in the country, Okoye also added that the electronic transmission of results was already a forgone conclusion.

“The use of the BVAS for the conduct of the 2023 general election is irreversible. The BVAS is the game-changer in the 2023 general election. Speculations and rumours relating to the abandonment of the BVAS are empty and without foundation,” he said.

‘’The Constitution and the law give unalloyed backing and flavour to the use of the BVAS for voter accreditation and authentication. It is illegal not to deploy the BVAS for accreditation. The BVAS is now a national asset.

“The BVAS has been delivered to over 23 states of the federation and we are getting ready for the election.  The electronic transmission of polling unit-level results is a foregone conclusion.

“It is part of our national asset and cannot be jettisoned. No individual or group can at this moment delegitimize the processes and procedures of the election. We are marching forward to 2023.”

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