The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured Nigerians that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) is safe for the forthcoming 2023 general election
The Commission gave the assurance on Tuesday at the Corruption Tori Season Three, Webinar 4.0 with the theme “Reducing Corruption to Zero in the 2023 Election:”.
Dr Jane Ifediora, a System Analyst who represented the commission said that the electoral umpire has made the BVAS machine security tight that it cannot be manipulated or hacked by internet fraudsters.
Ifediora, while explaining the flawlessness of the new INEC technology, said the commission will rely on the result seen in the conduct of previous elections in Ekiti and Osun states to conduct the general elections in 2023.
The system analyst who noted that the 2022 Electoral Act has empowered the commission to electronically transmit its result through the server and cloud, added that the act is a boost in Nigeria’s electoral process
She said that the commission has also employed the services of team of cyber Security experts to be on the look out for those who might want to hack the result while been transmitted to the server or cloud.
Ifediora also said that a sub body in the commission called INEC electoral institute in conjunction with the ICT unit of the commission is organizing periodic capacity building workshop for the Ad-hoc Staff and other staff for smooth and credible handling and operation of the BVAS machine.
Also speaking at the webinar, a Political Analyst, Jide Ojo, said vote buying and selling does not occur during the election day alone but begins right from political party primaries where politicians use all manner of methods to select delegates that they have bought and induce electorates through gifts or cash reward to vote for them.
The political analyst regretted that in the Ekiti, Osun governorship election, one recurring factor that was reported was vote buying.
He called on INEC and the security to make use of the opportunity offered by the electoral act of 2022 which has criminalized vote buying and vote selling to go after those caught in this web of commercializing and undermining Nigeria’s elections
Ojo commended the role of the Nigerian entertainment industry for engaging youths and advocating for them to stay away from vote selling and any other form of electoral corruption
Also speaking at the webinar, the former head of Publicity, INEC, Andy Enzani, said the commission still has a lot of work to do in other to tackle and reduce corruption in the commission.
He said the purpose of using NYSC members instead of a common man in the street in electioneering period such as this is to reduce corruption and also to have a smooth and credible elections.
He regretted that some INEC Adhoc staff have been compromised and polluted by politicians who do not like playing fair in the game of politics, urging the commission to sanction any of its staff caught in any corrupt practice.
Enzani also urged the commission to improve on training and workshops for its personnel as knowledge can become obsolete if not refreshed and updated
The webinar is organized by Corruption Tori to further amplify the war against corruption and increase its grassroot engagements
The last webinar was held in April 2022 and the next webinar will come up in November 2022.