Mr Osita Okechukwu, the Director-General, Voice of Nigeria (VON) has urges Nigerians to view President Buhari’s endorsement of Electronic Transmission of results, better known as Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) as Xmas gift.
Okechukwu, a foundation member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said this in Christmas message on Thursday in Abuja.
“A lot of those disappointed over Mr President withholding of assent to Electoral Act 2010 Amendment Bill 2021; did not appreciate the significance of the retention of Electronic Transmission of results. This is the BVAS Xmas Gift, the vaccine to vote rigging and enabler of free and fairer elections in Nigeria,” he said.
Okechukwu commended President Muhammadu Buhari and National Assembly members for the 2021 Christmas gift of Electronic Transmission of election results.
He observed that by collectively endorsing the use of BVAS technology, Buhari, federal lawmakers and dedicated officials of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) deserve commendation for gifting the country with such a wonderful vaccine to election rigging.
He assured Nigerians that Buhari will bequeath Nigerians with clean amended Electoral Act as good gesture for the development of our country’s democracy.
Expressing relief that Buhari has remained on the track in the arduous task of cleaning up the nation’s political space, Okechukwu remarked: “I am humbled, especially when one recalls the cacophony of damaging voices over the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021. But, looking at the inclusion of the BVAS technology, one is compelled to thank Mr President, NASS and INEC, for not throwing away the baby with the bathwater.”
He noted that although well meaning compatriots had canvassed for an enhanced package comprising both the Electronic Transmission of Results and the mandatory Direct Primary mode of selecting candidates by all political parties, which was submitted to Mr President for assent, Nigerians should look at the brighter picture.
“The brighter side is that with the eyes of experience and determination to eliminate confusion in the electoral system, President Buhari did not assent to the bill as presented, but rather made salient observations, which is expected in the spirit of envisaged Executive-Legislature cooperation would be patriotically resolved.
“That is the hallmark of a liberal democracy that thrives on a collaborative Bipartisanship synergy between the executive and the parliament, particularly for a Presidential system. That it did not go down well with many people is understandable, especially given the national outcry against the sustained despotism of our dear Emperor like State Governors,” Okechukwu stated.
He therefore urged Nigerians to take time out of their Christmas holidays to go through the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, Mr President’s response and INEC submission, which endorsed the BVAS as vaccine to vote rigging.
Okechukwu, recalled the reassuring words of INEC, when the commission submitted that,
“The BVAS has come to stay. So too is the uploading of polling unit results on INEC Result Viewing (IREV) portal in real-time on election day. We are convinced that the introduction of technology in voter accreditation and result management is better than the best entirely manual process. It also increases public confidence in the process. We will continue to deepen the use of technology in our elections.”
Okechukwu urged all those who felt bad, especially Civil Society Organisations, to take solace in the truism of INEC’s reassurance and that at no point did Mr President’s response on any clause whittle down electronic transmission of results.
“Therefore, the retention of Section 87 of the 2010 Electoral Act in the new Electoral Act 2021/2022, is more dangerous to APC and PDP than to ordinary Nigerian citizenry. Indeed it is Booby-Trap to APC and PDP. Anambra State gubernatorial election of 2021 is a case study of the efficacy of BVAS as the new vaccine to ballot banditry and election rigging,” he said.