Politics

Monarch to INEC: How to attain full benefits of BVAS usage

16. Some of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (machines) deployed for the Anambra State election have been declared faulty in spite of its edge over other technological innovations used in electoral processes.

The Traditional Ruler of Ifitedunu Community in Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State, Igwe Chukwuemeka Ilouno, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to do intelligence-led Bimodal Voters Verification System deployment in future polls in the country.

He made the call while speaking with newsmen on the deployment of the new technology in Enugu.

Ilouno spoke against the backdrop of the failure of the technology to perform optimally during the November 6 Anambra State governorship poll.

He called on the authorities of the electoral body to study the connectivity strength of each network in each area of the state and know the connectivity SIM to use
put in BVAS device.

He said what baffled him was that what worked in other countries technology-wise did not work in Nigeria.

Ilounno said: “It seems BVAS device operators during the governorship poll did not know much about the technology.

“INEC should have deployed its intelligence officers or engineers to go around and know the network – MTN, GLO, AIRTEL, 9MOBILE – that works perfectly in each community or an area.

“For instance, if the BVAS device deployed to my community, Ifitedunu, and its adjoining communities has SIM other than MTN, it would virtually not function.

“It is only MTN network that is strong and serves us here even if you are in a remote farming area of the community, you get connected.

“So anyone coming with BVAS device that has other network connectivity SIM rather than MTN SIM will definitely find things difficult in my community.

“In another way, the BVAS device should be configured in a way to allow all major national network connectivity SIMs to be used in each single BVAS device to allow for quick alternative switch-over.

“So, INEC engineers and intelligence officers must test- run their technological device or devices first within the generality of a given voting area and community before the election day proper.

“This particular BVAS device is a replica of those currently used in some advanced countries and it works perfectly well over there without any hitches.

“It is left for INEC and its engineers, including device consultants if available, to do a thorough local device check before subsequent elections.”

The traditional ruler, however, lauded INEC for recognising the deficiencies and the delays the BVAS devices caused during the gubernatorial poll.

“INEC should be commended for being sensitive and truthful to admit the hitches and the delays the BVAS devices caused and had to extend the time of voting, as well as rescheduling the voting in some places in the state,” he pointed out.

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