…clears air on ICT director’s re-deployment
Independent National Electoral Commission says electronic transmission of results cannot be manipulated due to the nature of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).
Special Adviser to the INEC Chairman, Prof Mohammad Kuna, stated this on Tuesday in Abuja, during a panel discussion at a two-day workshop organised by the National Peace Committee under the leadership of the former head of state, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) and The Kukah Centre.
The theme of the ongoing workshop is, “The role and impact of Digital Technologies in facilitating Peaceful Elections in Nigeria.”
BVAS is an electronic device designed to read Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and authenticate voters.
“With the nature of the BVAS, the uploaded polling units (PUs) results cannot be manipulated. The machine was not designed to edit the photographic result uploaded and sent to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV); and once sent cannot be recalled,” Kuna said.
Also reacting to a viral message on the deployment of the commission’s ICT Director, Engr. Chidi Nwafor, to Enugu State as an Administrative Secretary, Kuna said INEC redeployment of staff before general elections in the country was a routine and not a new development.
He recalled that the commission redeployed before the 2011 and 2019 elections, and any other times, insisting that it was normal exercise for INEC.
He said, “INEC has 37 offices across the federation and 774 local government offices across the Local Government Areas in the country. It has over 16,000 staffs spread across the country. The deployment and redeployment of staff is a normal exercise.
“INEC reserves the right to deploy it staff in places it thinks they can best perform the task given to them. Before this latest redeployment, there had been massive redeployment of over 500 staffs that didn’t raise any concern.
“This is necessary to help the commission to deal with the issues coming out of the 2023 elections. Every general election, these redeployments are normal. We did it in 2010, 2018 and we have done that of 2022. I don’t think this is abnormal.”
On his part, the Executive Director, Kukah Foundation and Head of Secretariat of the National Peace Committee (NPC), Rev. Fr. Atta Barkindo, lamented that social media and fake news posed a threat to the peace accord signed by candidates of political parties before elections in the country.
Barkindo said the workshop was organised to strategise on how to hold candidates and political parties accountable on the issue of social media usage and fake news.
He also said the Kukah Centre and the NPC would also engage registered members of the nation’s registered political parties so that the coming elections can be successful and credible.