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2023 Elections: No going back on use of BVAS, IReV – INEC Chairman

One hundred days to the 2023 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, insists the commission will not back down on using the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV). 

Image of BVAS in use at a polling booth. Photo Source: Google Images.

The Chairman made this known in a one-page memo on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, via the commission’s official Twitter handle (@inecnigeria). Prior to this announcement, DUBAWA had last year reported certain technological innovations that have been adopted by INEC to be used during elections, including the BVAS and IReV. 

A screenshot of the one-page memo.

Mr Yakubu had, in the publication, brazenly acknowledged that the electoral umpire has been successful at making “steady progress in the twin areas of electoral reform and election administration” over the last decade and three. 

However, he admitted that “a lot of work still lies ahead” for the electoral commission to do, but he is optimistic that the elections are getting better and citizens’ confidence in the process is increasing.

Both BVAS and IReV have earned the public’s confidence to ensure transparency of election results and earn public trust for the election process and outcome. While the BVAS  is used to accredit voters’ fingerprints and facial recognition IReV is a digital portal that can supply polling unit result sheets directly from the polling unit for the public to view for themselves. 

Mr Yakubu categorically stated that the electoral commission would not back out from using the technology adoptions to ensure the elections go unbreached. 

“Our loyalty is to Nigerians who want free, fair, credible and verifiable elections supported by technology, which guarantees transparent accreditation and upload of polling unit results for citizens to view in real-time on Election Day. 

“It is for these reasons that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) were introduced. There is no going back on the deployment of BVAS and IReV for the 2023 General Election.”

The Chairman further stated that while the commission will continue to actively engage with “political parties, civil society organisations, the media and other critical stakeholders,” it will also continue to apprise Nigerians with every development it will undertake, including “challenges” as it prepares for the fast approaching 2023 elections. 

He added that the commission would “start bi-weekly media briefings followed by weekly briefings as we get closer to the election. In the week leading to the election, there will be daily briefings.”

Mr Yakubu then admonished Nigerians to fully engage in electoral activities, especially in the ongoing display of the Register of Voters, for claims and objectives, as well as the collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs). He further urged political parties and leaders to conduct their campaigns peacefully, eschewing divisiveness, rancour, and violence.

Acknowledging elections are a “multi-stakeholder activity”, the Chairman said the commission would play its part diligently and conscientiously. 

He also called on other stakeholders and the citizens to endeavour to play theirs so that “working together, we can have the elections that Nigerians yearn for, and for which the world expects from us.”

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