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INEC Says BVAS Will Run Optimally for March 11 Nigeria Elections

INEC chairperson said that BVAS would once again be deployed for voter accreditation and result management, despite the challenges experienced during the general elections.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured all Nigerians that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) will “run optimally” during the governorship and state assembly elections scheduled to hold across twenty-eight states on March 11

The recently concluded presidential, senate, and national assembly elections saw the BVAS technology used for a general election for the first time in Nigeria’s history. However, there were hitches with the technology, and doubts have been raised over the credibility of the February 25 elections.

Nigerians complained on social media and criticised the electoral body. Similarly, a fair share of the losers of the elections and members of the opposition parties have rejected the results declared by the electoral body.

Yakubu Mahmood, the INEC chairperson, said in Abuja on Saturday that BVAS “will once again be deployed” for voter accreditation and result management, despite the challenges experienced during the general elections.

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“The deployment of BVAS has gone a long way to sanitise voter accreditation as can be seen from the result of recent elections.” he said.

Since last week, the Commission has intensified the review of the technology to ensure that glitches experienced, particularly with the upload of results, are rectified. We are confident that going forward the system will run optimally.

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During the February 25 elections, reports from polling units indicated that some officials did not know how to handle the BVAS machine. The INEC chairperson explained that further refresher training would be conducted for the ad hoc staff “so that processes are not delayed or compromised at any stage”.

“All staff found to be negligent, whether they are regular or ad hoc officials, including collation and returning officers, must not be involved in the forthcoming elections.

Yakubu Mahmood appreciated the efforts of all Nigerians and assured that INEC would “work harder to overcome the challenges experienced” in the last election.

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“Once again, the Commission would like to appreciate the patience and understanding of Nigerians. We do not take this for granted. We equally appreciate the patriotism of political, traditional, religious and community leaders that appealed for calm.

“Similarly, the Commission appreciates the role of heads of election observation missions, some of whom are still in the country. We appeal to such missions to consider extending their observations to the Governorship and State Assembly elections not only because they form an integral part of the General Election for which they are accredited but also because they are as important as the national elections.

“In the same vein, the Commission appreciates all domestic observers for their preliminary reports which will help us enormously as we conclude the 2023 General Election. We look forward to the full reports.”

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