The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed displeasure with the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, for raising concerns about the credibility of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and Results Viewing Portal that will be used in the 2023 election.
The commission expressed surprise that the APC candidate could call into question the efficacy of the technology used in several polls, including the off-season governorship elections in Ekiti, Osun, and Anambra states.
The former Lagos State governor stated on Monday at Chatham House in London, United Kingdom, that the electoral body had yet to assure Nigerians of the BVAS’s functionality and e-transmission of poll results.
He spoke just weeks after the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, and National Organising Secretary, Suleiman Argungu, expressed reservations about the planned deployment of BVAS for next year’s elections.
Tinubu stated at Chatham House, “We are still establishing trust in our democratic and voting systems.
Before we introduce a complicated element of ballot counting, INEC must assure us that electronic transmission, the technology used for accreditation and total vote count, is reliable, dependable, and assuring in our democratic process.”
In response to Tinubu’s uncertainty, INEC’s Chief Press Secretary, Rotimi Oyekanmi, stated that the commission has been discussing the features, strengths, and advantages of BVAS since 2020.
“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?’’ The Punch quoted the chief press secretary to the INEC chairman as saying.