A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, has said that the Bimodal Voter Registration System (BVAS) will be a game changer in the 2023 general elections.
Speaking in an interview with Daily Trust yesterday, Jega said, “BVAS is a remarkable improvement over the card reader. It has been tested and proven its integrity.
“What INEC needs to do is to train those operators and work with service providers to ensure no disruptions of internet and network on the days of elections, and once we get that, the integrity of the elections is certain.”
Daily Trust had reported how plots by some politicians to remove the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, and stop the use of BVAS in the 2023 elections had raised dust.
On electronic transmission of results, Jega said, “For the first time Nigeria will do electronic transmission of results, and INEC has a robust technology architecture to that. The commission wanted to use it in the general elections in 2015, but regrettably in 2012, Kenya used it badly and it affected their election, so because of that it was fresh, INEC decided to shelve that idea.”
Jega further said that the use of BVAS was necessary because it helped to boost efficiency and transparency in both collation and transmission of results, adding that INEC had developed competence to deliver.
Speaking on the rumoured removal of the INEC chairman, Jega said, “It is not the time to start talking about removing people who will pilot preparations and conduct of our elections,” noting that there was no grounds that would warrant the removal of the chairman or any member of the commission unless INEC itself came out and said it was under pressure.
He further said, “I know for a fact that close to elections, many political parties make comments, it is not just ruling, all political parties say negative things. So I plead with INEC to remain focused and shouldn’t be distracted by rumours that are not correct, but if the rumours are correct, then something needs to be done.
“But if people are bent on removing him to discard the BVAS, the commission should remain resolute because they know BVAS is critical which is why funds were spent to get it, and it is too late to put it aside.”