The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), has slammed political parties intruding into its affairs to dictate on how it should operate on the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS.
According to The Vanguard newspaper, the INEC national commissioner and chairman of information and voter education committee, Festus Okoye, explained that the commission had been created to serve as a regulator for political parties but the reverse seems to be the case.
He stressed that it is the INEC’s function to regulate the affairs of the political parties and not vice versa.
Okoye made this remark in a reaction to the Labour Party’s faulting the idea of reconfiguring BVAS after its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, sought to examine the election materials.
Labour Party also faulted the commission’s claim of backing up the data retrieved from the BVAS without the presence of independent witnesses and agents of political parties.
Similarly, the Peoples Democratic Party expressed the same sentiments.
Speaking on the matter, Okoye maintained that the request by the LP to monitor the commission’s process of reconfiguring and backing up results on its BVAS devices would not be granted.
“On the issue of a political party saying they want to come and look at our cloud, IReV or into the brain of the BIVAS, the commission will not allow that to happen," he noted.
He also said the Commission hopes to conclude reconfiguration of the BVAS by Tuesday for deployment to the polling units on Saturday, March 18.
The electoral umpire’s top official, however, said that any BVAS that fails to provide a backup system for the results of the Presidential and National Assembly election will not be reconfigured for the March 18 Governorship and State Assembly elections.
While dismissing a backup plan for the IREV during the governorship election, Okoye said when there are challenges with upholding polling units results during the election, the ICT department is equipped to deal with such challenges.
Okoye assured Nigerians that the commission’s Result Viewing Portal (IReV) will be functional during the March 18 elections.
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