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2023 Elections: Would BVAS, Electronic Transmission of Results Whittle Down the Powers of Governors?

As Nigerians head to the polls today to elect the nation's next president, the stakes seem usually high.

State governors in the country have over time become important power brokers who many times decide the outcomes of the elections in their domains even though not necessarily by legitimate means.

The fear of the manipulation of the electoral process to present results not reflecting the wishes of the electorate is usually rife during elections. However, the infusion of technology into the process by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has raised hope for a better election and the whittling down of the powers the governors wield in this regard.

A lot has been said about the technological innovations that INEC has introduced to the conduct of these year's general elections, particularly the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), which enables the electronic transmission of election results right from the polling units to INEC servers. 

Many have praised the BVAS as the ultimate game-changer in this year’s elections. It is a testament to the belief in the system, that Nigerians trooped out to register in the last voter registration exercise. They believe that this time around, their votes would count. 

But would the BVAS indeed whittle down the powers of the governors to influence the outcome of elections?

If all goes as planned, I believe it would. 

Before the BVAS, the governors were lords in their domains as they wielded enormous powers to influence election outcomes in their respective states. Election outcomes were many times decided at state collation centres after voting as results very easily somersaulted there. 

The BVAS reads Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to authenticate their genuineness and also certifies voters’ eligibility to vote at any particular using their fingerprints and facial features. 

But it does much more than that. It also transmits election results to INEC’s Result Viewing Portal (IReV) directly from the polling units in real time, bypassing the manual collation of results in the process. 

With the manual collation of results eliminated by the use of the device, a gaping loophole for manipulating election outcomes has been blocked. 

With the blocking of that loophole goes the powers of the governors to decide election outcomes. 

It is only governors who have performed well in their states, to the satisfaction of their citizens, that would be able to influence the citizens to vote for their (the governors’) preferred choices. That in itself is a legitimate influence unlike what was obtained in the past. 

Governors who have not done well should forget being able to influence election outcomes by some illegitimate means. 

So, the governors who are promising presidential candidates bulk votes from their states may not be able to deliver on their promises if their citizens are not satisfied with their performance in office. 

What do you think?

Content created and supplied by: Ifyafrica (via Opera News )

BVAS Bimodal Voter Accreditation System INEC Independent National Electoral Nigerians


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