Politicians undermining BVAS deployment during polls, INEC alleges

Posted by News Express | 1 December 2021 | 400 times

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•Akwa Ibom REC Mike Igini


Politicians are trying to undermine the electoral process and the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has alleged.

The commission also decried the activities of those hacking into its operation.

Since 2015, the electoral umpire said yesterday, hackers have been trying to get into its system. It noted that the hackers have so far been kept out.

Two INEC officials – Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in charge of Akwa Ibom State, Mike Igini, and ICT Director, Chidi Nwafor, dropped the hints during a stakeholders’ roundtable on electoral technology organised by Yiaga Africa.

Igini said: “The problem we are having in this country has to do with people who are out to undermine it.

“As an insider, who have larger and far more objective view as what we are doing as a Commission, I want to say very clearly that the problem we are having in this country has been less emphasis on that and has to do with people who are out to undermine the electoral process in the country that everything you put together you must look at what is called the human agency.

“The Card Reader does not play, is that really a problem. We introduced Card Reader and to ensure inclusivity that the name of somebody in the register and to get the Card Reader confirmed we used the Incident Form, but the Incident Form was abused.

“All cost of election in Nigeria is on account of people who are out to manipulate the process. When the Commission plans for a long term the politicians are out there to undermine what we are doing.

“Like we are planning now to have the BVAS out there and they are trying to undermine that process. You put in place something for the interest of the nation there are people out to undermine the process, and we do nothing with them or make effort to arraign them in court.

“They went as far as using the elite to undermine the process, and the Commission has convicted one, in two days’ time, another one will be arraigned.

Nwafor said: “Hackers have been trying to get into our system. I can tell you that in all the elections, from 2015 to 2019. I know it will happen in 2023 but God has been with us.”

At the roundtable, President of Nigeria Computer Society, Prof Adesina Sodiya, backed the use of electronic voting, saying the country was ripe enough to adopt the technology.

But the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Sen Ajibola Bashiru, disagreed, saying the infrastructure to cover every corner of the country during election was not available.

The Osun Central senator said the country was not ready to adopt electronic voting system for its elections.

He argued that some communities in his state, are without GSM network. (The Nation)

Source: News Express

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