Don’t reconfigure BVAS, CSOs warn INEC
Kehinde Akintola – Abuja
Coalition of Civil Society working on credible and transparent elections in Nigeria under the aegis of Situation Room on Tuesday warned against the planned reconfiguration of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) initiated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Coalition’s position was contained in a statement jointly signed by the Convener, Ms. Ene Obi and her counterparts, Asma’u Joda and James Ugochukwu.
Worried by the reports obtained which indicated that the BVAS may need to be reconfigured or even erased for the upcoming State Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections slated for Saturday, 11th March 2023, the Coalition maintained that such development may further pose additional credibility questions over the integrity and conduct of the 2023 general elections.
The statement reads: “The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room (Situation Room) is concerned about the question of preservation of data collected during the Presidential and National Assembly elections of 25th February 2023.
“Situation Room will like the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to clarify to the public how it intends to ensure that data collected in the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) used in the election will be preserved for use in the review and audit of the elections.
“Electoral accountability requires that information collected during elections are preserved for use in the audit and review of the election and for accountability purposes.
“In the light of the disputations that have emerged and the controversy surrounding the 2023 general elections, Situation Room is asking INEC to ensure that its records and data related to the election are held safely and securely to ensure its use for the purposes of scrutiny and accountability.
“Reports indicating that the BVAS may need to be reconfigured or even erased for the upcoming State Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections due on Saturday, 11th March 2023 is a serious cause for concern and we worry that this could further pose additional credibility questions over the integrity and conduct of the 2023 general elections.”
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