By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reiterated its stance that there is no going back on the deployment of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV) in 2023 General Elections.
Dr Hale Gabriel Longpet, Kogi Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Commission disclosed this during a press conference at the Commission’s office on Wednesday in Lokoja.
He said the Commission was resolute on its stand adding that deployment of technology in the conduct of elections in the country had come to stay.
He said that while the BVAS would be used for voter accreditation, there would be electronic transmission of results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV) in real time on election day.
The REC said that cases of ballot box snatching, stuffing and over voting had been disabled with the use technology of the BVAS adding hackers had tried unsuccessfully to hack into the newly adopted technology.
Longpet also revealed that culminating from the Continuous Voter Registration from 2021 to November 07, this year, the number of registered eligible voters in the state had appreciated from 2.6 million in 2019 to over 1.9 million.
He said that successes recorded in Anambra Ekiti, Osun, Ondo elections had reinforced the belief of the commission in the BVAS and IREV.
He said that the Commission would ensure that the upcoming display of voter register scheduled to take place across the 239 Wards (RAs) in the state was handled by at least two personnel per ward.
“In a few days, the Commission will be displaying the supplementary voter register in all the Wards and Local Government Areas of all the States.
“This is to enable Nigerians who had registered to go and verify their names and actual polling units that they will be voting at all the elections in 2023.
“In our efforts to sanitize the process of voting, INEC had to decongest some polling units and have therefore converted some polling points into new polling units,”
The REC regretted that citizens of Kogi State had not responded positively to INEC’s call to collect their PVCs as 189,760 cards are still uncollected..
He said that the opening balance of uncollected PVCs as at 2019 in Kogi State was 154,984 adding only 13,689 of the number was collected as at November 7, 2022 leaving a balance of 141,295.
Longpet said that fresh registration from 2021 to 2022 was 38,595 and only 17,413 was distributed leaving a balance of 21,182 while the total transfer PVC for 2022 stood at 32,508 with just 5,225 distributed leaving a balance of 27,283.
Longpet revealed that the INEC would soon embark on sensitization and awareness campaign adding that the commission was at the critical stage in the implementation of the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 General Elections.
He said that the Commission was engaging security agencies, Media, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) among other stakeholders in its preparations and planning towards successful conduct of the 2023 General Elections.
“Various categories of staff have been trained both at the National, Zonal, State, and_ Local Government levels; and these will be the staff that will also train the ad-hoc staff who are being recruited at the moment”, he said.