THE All Progressives Congress (APC) has expressed reservations over the deployment of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV) for the 2023 general elections, saying Nigeria is not yet ready for such technology.
APC national chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, expressed the concerns when he hosted a delegation from the Commonwealth Election Observation Mission in Abuja, on Wednesday, November 24.
Adamu said that the nation does not have the telecommunication infrastructure to use the gadgets.
“Our concern is how ready are we to deploy some of these technologies as regards transmission because we are taking a major step in transmitting election results in real time,” he said.
“To transmit results, every part of the nation Nigeria I’m not sure that the network covers it. I know that even in parts of Abuja there is no network and we have from now till February when in substantial parts of the country there is no electricity.
“INEC must assure us 100 per cent that as at when due in transmitting results they are ready because they spoke about recharging batteries but we had in previous elections when it says it can’t recharge”.
The party’s national organising secretary, Suleiman Argungu, who was present at the meeting, also expressed the same concerns.
He said, “As a rider to what the national chairman just said about INEC transmitting results directly during the coming election, apart from the issue of electricity that is unstable, a lot of the villages and communities bordering other countries – for instance my state Kebbi that is bordering two nations – during the previous elections the network of Nigeria for all the networks, Glo, MTN, Airtel, you can’t get them.
“If you want to get them you have to use the number of the other countries to reach them. So, during election I don’t see how transmission of result will work. I see it coming.”
The APC’s worries are coming after series of allegations by the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) accusing the ruling party of working 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.
But INEC, which had described the allegations as empty and baseless, said BVAS machine was a national asset, adding that its usage for the conduct of the polls was irreversible.
He stressed that the BVAS machine was already backed by the Constitution, and it would therefore be criminal for it not to be used.