The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, has raised concerns over the proposed use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for the 2023 general elections.
Adamu expressed his reservation when a delegation of the Commonwealth for the 2023 general elections paid a courtesy visit to the party secretariat in Abuja on Wednesday.
The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) stance was the fallout of an Abuja Federal High Court’s refusal to grant the prayer of four plaintiffs who sued the commission for discontinuing the voter registration exercise on July 31.
However, on Wednesday, Adamu disclosed that he doubted if the introduction of BVAS for the transmission of elections in real time would produce a fair result for the nation in the 2023 elections.
The former Nasarawa governor said, “To transmit results to all parts of the country, I’m not sure that the network covers it; I know that even in parts of Abuja there is no network, and we have from now until February when in substantial parts of the country there is no electricity.
“INEC must assure us 100 per cent that as of when they are due to transmit results, they are ready because they spoke about recharging batteries. But we heard in previous elections when it said it couldn’t recharge.”
Adamu’s fear was re-echoed by the party’s National Organising Secretary, Suleiman Argungu, who identified stable power supply as one of the obstacles facing innovation.
Argungu also used his home state, Kebbi, as an example of an area where such technology could experience some hitches.
In part, he said, “…For example, my state, Kebbi, which borders two countries. You can’t get people easily on the networks of Nigeria, Glo, MTN, and Airtel. If you want to get them, you have to use the numbers of the other countries to reach them. So, during the election, I don’t see how the transmission of results will work.”
Addressing journalists after their meeting, the Commonwealth delegation’s Political Officer, Lindiwe Maleleka, explained their mission, saying they were at the APC secretariat on a ‘pre-election assessment’ task.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party has chided the APC national chairman for questioning INEC’s ability to transmit the 2023 results in real time from polling units to a central server.
The spokesperson for the party, Debo Ologunagba, said the ruling party was already jittery knowing that with the BVAS, its chances of rigging the polls would be limited.
“The APC knows they stand no chance of winning elections in this country if the process is transparent. At a time the whole world is commending INEC, the APC national chairman is expressing doubt. What does that tell you? The ruling party does not want the 2023 polls to be credible, free and fair. The PDP is fully behind INEC in the use of BVAS and planned transmission of results in real time.
“BVAS was used in Ekiti and Osun states and the process was adjudged to be credible. INEC has improved over the years. We enjoin every political party to support the commission in its mandate of delivering credible elections to the country in 2023 and beyond,” he said.