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PDP, CUPP, and others criticize Adamu’s statement about the use of BVAS

PDP, CUPP, and others criticize Adamu’s statement about the use of BVAS

Following the outrage and condemnation that accompanied his comments on the deployment of technology by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2023 general elections, Abdullahi Adamu, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has denied reports that he is opposed to the deployment of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV) for next year’s polls.

At a press conference in Abuja yesterday, Adamu stated that he was primarily concerned about the issues of electricity supply and erratic telecommunication signals in the country’s outlying voting areas.

On Wednesday, the APC chairman expressed concern that the country is not ready for the use of electoral technology, citing network concerns as a potential impediment to their effective operation.

Suleiman Argungu, APC National Organising Secretary, also stated that some BVAS machines’ batteries may not be recharged due to an epileptic power supply.

However, APC National Publicity Secretary Felix Morka claimed in a statement that the reports regarding Adamu were untrue and an unjust portrayal of his opinion.

He reaffirmed that the APC-led administration remained committed to the country’s highest levels of electoral openness and democratic consolidation.

HOWEVER, INEC has stated that given the current technological gadgets, it will be able to broadcast poll results from all areas of the country in the 2023 election. Dr. Olugbenga Lawrence Bayomi, Deputy Director of Information Communication Technology (ICT) at INEC, stated this on Thursday at a two-day training in Abuja.

The workshop on conflict reporting by the media was held in partnership with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), INEC, and the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).

Abayomi stated that Nigerians should be assured that INEC has multiple servers but is not in possession of the specific server purported to be in its possession in 2019.

He stated that Nigerians must play a role in invoking the Electoral Act 2022 for the 2023 election to be successful, as the Commission was constrained in invoking such laws on non-staff.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned Adamu’s concerns over the usage of BVAS and accused the APC of attempting to resurrect the period of election cheating.

Dele Momodu, the PDP presidential campaign council’s Director of Strategic Communication, told journalists in Abuja yesterday that it was startling that “at this time and age, APC will still want us to operate analog elections.”

Kola Ologbondiyan, the spokesperson for the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign, also condemned the APC position, saying the rejection of BVAS proves that the APC and its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, do not have true followership among Nigerians ahead of the polls.

THE Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) announced on Thursday that Adamu’s fears about the planned deployment of BVAS had been validated and that the ruling party was reportedly behind the drive to sack INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.

Last week, Yakubu assured Nigerians that the usage of BVAS and IReV for the upcoming elections will not be abandoned.

According to CUPP spokesman Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, the development, which comes just 90 days before the presidential election, has also validated the Coalition’s intelligence assessment that APC allegedly sought to do digital vote buying in the 2023 elections.

According to Effiong Inihebe, a human rights lawyer, BVAS, an electronic means of scanning Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and voter accreditation, would ensure free and fair elections in 2023.

In its reply, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide (OYC), claimed Adamu should be placed on a watch list by security services and the international community for allegedly toeing a road capable of destroying Nigeria.

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Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, National President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, accused the APC of attempting to suffocate Nigeria’s democracy.

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has also blasted Adamu for providing flimsy and nonsensical justifications for INEC not deploying BVAS and IReV for the elections.

In a statement, HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, stated that only crooked politicians, whose distorted triumphs are won by system cheating and manipulation, are frightened of the electronic transmission of results for next year’s polls.

MEANWHILE, Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), has urged all secretaries to state governments to ensure a smooth transition process regardless of the outcome of the 2023 elections.

Mustapha further stated that the SGF and Secretaries to State Governments (SSGs) must play a more visible role in ensuring effective coordination and a good working relationship among all stakeholders before, during, and after elections.

He addressed yesterday at the third quarter meeting of the SGF Forum with SSGs at the new Government House, Little Rayfield in Jos.

According to the SGF, SSGs should establish performance contracts among bureaucrats and political office holders, and there is no doubt that state secretaries assist their respective principals in achieving their development agendas and ensuring orderly governance, transition, and effective government handover.

Mustapha emphasized that the Federal Government enacted Executive Order 012 to institutionalize the Central Delivery Coordination Unit, which has logged significant mileage at the federal level in the area of tracking, reviewing, and analyzing projects and other activities of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).

Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, stated in his remarks that the gathering was not only timely but also critical, because for far too long, the public has focused on creating governance around strong persons rather than solid processes.

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