BVAS secured, intact, can’t be hacked — INEC chairman

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Elec­toral Commission (INEC), has given the assurance that the Bimodal Voter Registration System (BVAS) is highly secured, intact and cannot be compro­mised or hacked into by overzealous persons.


This is as he insisted that no eligible voter in Nigeria will be allowed to cast his vote in the forthcoming 2023 gen­eral elections without a Permanent Voter Card (PVC).


Fielding questions from partic­ipants after presenting a paper on ‘INEC and the Challenges of ICT- The Way Forward’, Prof. Yakubu insisted that technology will be deployed to actualise a credible, fair and hitch-free general elections.


“As with every aspect of our national lives, adopting technologies into the electoral process is always met with challenges.


“One major challenge was the lack of a clear-cut legal framework supporting the de­ployment of technology by the commission especially in the accreditation of voters and the voting process.


“The deployment of the smart card readers in 2015 and its use was faced with various challenges such as resistance to use in some isolated instances, snatching and destruction of devices, attempts to manipu­late the use of the devices, and most prominently various judicial pronouncements on the le­gality of its use”, Yakubu said.


Represented by Dr. Lawrence Bayode, Director, ICT, the INEC chairman said “an­other very disturbing trend is the misinformation and disin­formation on technological de­ployments by the commission in the social media space and some media houses picking up news bulletins from social media platforms to discuss on their morning shows and political programmes without reaching out to the commission for its stance on such issues.


“One of such is the recent vi­ral assumptions that PVC is not required to vote on election day.


“Let me reiterate the com­mission’s stance that section 47(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 clearly states that, ‘A person in­tending to vote in an election shall present himself with his voter’s card to a presiding officer for accreditation at the polling unit in the constituen­cy in which his name is regis­tered’”.


Therefore, he insisted that the commission is legally bound to only accept accredita­tion of a voter on presentation of a valid voter’s card.


Emmanuel Owah, Assistant Research Fellow, National Judicial Institute, Abuja, presented a paper on ‘The Role of Civil Society Organisations in Election Management and Agenda Setting’.


Similarly, there was a paper presentation on ‘The Role of the Media in Election Report­age’ by Adebimpe Elizabeth Ol­orunfemi, Assistant Research Fellow, National Judicial Insti­tute, Abuja.



(Daily Independent)


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