The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has pledged to address all identified challenges with its newly introduced Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) ahead of FCT Area Council election in February.
Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, said this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.
Okoye said that the commission at a meeting on Thursday conducted an initial review of the Anambra governorship election, while awaiting the reports of officials deployed for the election, for an in-depth review of the processes.
He said that after the supplementary election in Ihiala Local Government Area (LGA) on Nov.9 and before the process was concluded, INEC commenced a preliminary review of the functionality of systems, particularly the newly introduced BVAS.
He noted that the commission acknowledged that the device performed optimally in the uploading of election results to the commission’s dedicated portal.
“The system performed two functions on election day. First is the accreditation of voters using both the fingerprint and facial authentication.
“Secondly, it snaps the polling unit level result sheets and uploads them in real-time to the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal.
“This aspect of the BVAS functionality performed optimally such that by the early hours of Sunday morning, results from 4,987 (88.5 per cent) out of 5,634 polling units had been upoladed for public view.
“While still in the field, our ICT team responded to the identified glitches in the accreditation of voters and corrected them,” he said.
Okoye added: “Consequently, in the Ihiala supplementary election, there were no reported incidents of BVAS malfunction.
“We will carry out an in-depth examination of the system, review reports from accredited observers and the media and respond to all identified challenges ahead of the next major Area Council election in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), holding on Feb. 12, 2022.
“We shall again test run the system in the by-election (s) that may arise before then.
“The commission remains convinced that despite some glitches experienced in Anambra State Governorship election, the deployment of technology in elections is better than the best manual process,”
He said that the Anambra election was conducted under the most challenging circumstances.
He said that never before did the commission had to grapple with numerous issues ahead of an off-season governorship election.
Okoye listed the issues to include attacks on its facilities, withdrawals of critical service providers such as the ad hoc staff and transporters on the eve of the election and the general tension pervading the atmosphere.
He, however, said that he was happily that the election was done peacefully.
Okoye commended stakeholders for their enormous sacrifice and support they made in ensuring that the election was conducted peacefully.
“We look forward to the support of all Nigerians in the forthcoming elections.
We will continue to work hard to protect the sanctity of the ballot and to conduct free, fair and credible elections anywhere in Nigeria.
“We remain resolute that only the votes cast by citizens at polling units will determine the outcome of elections,” he said. (NAN)