FORMER Convener of Civil Society Situation Room and Executive Director of Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) Clement Nwankwo has blamed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for failure of the Bi-modular Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) on Saturday during the Anambra State gubernatorial election.
Speaking on Tuesday on Arise TV’s ‘Morning Show,’ Nwankwo said the INEC was not adequately prepared for the new technology and left an obvious gap on Saturday.
“BVAS is supposed to be a replacement for all of the previous technologies applied, whether smartcard reader or Z-file. My sense of it is that in the light of the uncertainty of whether the Anambra election is happening or not ,in the light of the siege on INEC’s own preparations, I think there might have been a gap, that INEC did not do what it was supposed to do in respect of the machines.”
He raised some critical questions on the machine, wondering whether the electoral body tested the BVAS or not.
“Did INEC stimulate the machine? Did it put it to test? There have been a challenge with that. I have no doubt that INEC did not do what it should do with regard to the machine.”
He asked INEC to put its acts together as the 2023 election drew near.
“INEC must match its words with action. There are gaps, and I think they should go back. INEC needs to prepare for the expectation because 2023 will really be higher.”
On the possibility of a turnaround in the election result in Ihiala LGA in the election led by candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Charles Soludo, Nwankwo said it would be earth-shaking if the current trend was not sustained.
” The turnout of voters is probably about 15 or less than 20 per cent. When you look at that trend and take that percentage, and you double that population and take it to Ihiala, it won’t escalate the number of voters turn out.
“Don’t forget you have very strong candidates from three or four political parties. The vote will be shared. It seems that a trend has been created, and what will be earth-shaking is if that trend is reversed.”
He praised the security agencies for their conduct during the election and urged them to keep up the pace at Ihiala Local Government today and in future elections.
The election was declared inconclusive last Saturday by INEC after discovering that votes were not cast in Ihiala Local Government Area. The election was scheduled for today, the November 9 and is currently ongoing.