*commends INEC, Security Agencies, Voters for peaceful polls
Election observer group, the Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has said the performance of the BVAS machines deployed by INEC during Saturday’s Ekiti State governorship election showed a tremendous improvement from previous elections.
The group said this is an indication that the INEC has kept its commitment to improving the electoral process as the country marches towards the 2023 general elections.
CTA Executive director, Faith Nwadishi stated this during in Ado-Ekiti, while making public the group’s preliminary report on the Ekiti governorship election.
Nwadishi said said reports from over 50 observers deployed by the CTA to the 16 local government areas across the state indicated that the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) helped to douse tension during the election.
She said, “The BVAS performance has been a tremendous improvement compared to previous experience. By all standard, we are seeing improvement over time and our democracy will be better for it. We can say we have had a more improved BIVAS performance.
“The peace and tranquility we saw in this election is as a result of the BIVAS. It has helped to remove voters identity theft. Unlike before when you can pick people Voters Cards to vote, when we use Incident Form, it has helped to erase that.
“BVAS has also helped with uploading of results. Now you declare results at polling units and it is offloaded. So, if we have that kind of technology, what we should do is to encourage it.”
The CTA boss also commended the security agencies for their professionalism as well as the electorates for turning out enmasse to vote for candidates of their choice
She, however, decried the spate of vote buying during the poll, calling on the EFCC, INEC, the Security Agencies and other stakeholders to work out measures to effectively address this ugly phenomenon.
Furthermore, she said, “Regrettably, our observers reported that the phenomenon of vote buying that is fast becoming a major feature of our democracy was manifest during this election.
“Our observers also reported parties paying as much as N7000 for votes while in some instances packs of Spaghetti and Semovita were shared to voters. It is heartwarming to observe that some culpable party agents were arrested by the agents of EFCC. INEC, the Security Agencies and other stakeholders need to work out measures to effectively address this ugly phenomenon.”
She commended INEC and its officials for the improvement recorded during the election.
She said, “our field observers report indicated that polling officials arrived early in most of the polling units, with many of the polling units opening around 8.30am.
“This is an indication of improvement with regards to election logistics arrangement on the part of INEC. We hope this improvement will be consolidated upon and carried into the 2023 general elections.”