Success of BVAS in many polling units demonstrates utility, reliability –CDD

THE Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has described the success of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in many local government areas (LGAs) as an indication that the technological innovation could be reliable in subsequent elections.

Election Analyst and Law Lecturer Sam Amadi disclosed this on behalf of the centre during a press briefing held in Abuja on Monday.

“The successful deployment of the device in many polling units demonstrates its utility and reliability. For example, in Ekwusigo LGA, Ward 3, Units 3, 4, 5 and 6, and Ward 5 Units 1 and 2, CDD’s observers reported the seamless deployment of the BVAS.

“CDD believes that the intention behind the introduction of the BVAS is laudable,” he said.

Also speaking on the device’s success, Senior Fellow at CDD Jibrin Ibrahim said it showed the importance of technology in preventing election misconduct.

“Its successful deployment in many areas demonstrates the lingering benefit of integrating technology to prevent electoral malpractice,” he said.

However, the centre also noted that the BVAS device had failed in some areas and called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to address and improve the infrastructure supporting the BVAS ahead of subsequent elections.

“Persistent glitches with the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) have raised important questions about adapting technology to local environments.

“Our message to INEC is that they have to improve on technical capacity and skills. We cannot continue to have these issues,” he said.

The centre also warned citizens to be cautious of the weaponisation of fake news while consuming information relating to elections.




     

     

    “Stories emerged online with visuals that suggested that citizens simply refused to vote. Perhaps the biggest one was the narrative which appeared in several different iterations claiming that the APC had already written results in advance in 10LGAs.

    “This narrative was attributed to Governor Willie Obiano. The CDD fact checkers found this to be false. These demonstrate the need for info-vigilance with respect to elections,” Amadi said.

    The centre recommended that Ihiala LGA elections be conducted according to electoral guidelines and called on the Nigerian government to address the worsening security situation across the country against the 2023 elections.

    The INEC was also urged to resolve its logistics challenges and increase the pace of results transmission to assure citizens of the integrity of the process.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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