In advance of the general elections in 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has announced that it will conduct mock accreditation across the country.
Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC Chairman, revealed this during a Tuesday speech at the Chatham House in London.
Before the main elections begin in February, Yakubu stated that a mock accreditation process would be conducted in a few chosen polling locations to check the validity of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System.
He added that every BVAS device installed across the 774 local governments had been tested and noted how well the devices worked.
In case of system failures, backup machines have been easily available, according to Yakubu, who also said that with all of the groundwork being done, the commission is actually “comfortable and happy.”
He said, “We have the machines for the 2023 elections but we didn’t want to take chances. Each and every machine has been tested and confirmed functional. For the last two weeks our officials were in the 36 states of the federation testing these machines, and the functionality is simply encouraging.
“The second thing we’re going to do, and pretty soon, is to conduct mock accreditation exercise nationwide ahead of the elections. We won’t wait until the main elections come, we will test the integrity of these machines with real-life voters in selected polling units across the country.
“We did so in Ekiti and Osun, it was fantastic and we’re going to do so nationwide. Increasingly our people are becoming more excited about the deployment of this technology and we’re really happy.
“Also in terms of the numbers of these BVAS machines, we always make provision in case of malfunction or glitches. There is always a back up. We have IReV technical support that will fix the machines in the unlikely event of any glitches.
“However, where it fails to function completely in a polling unit, from previous experience there were isolated polling units, the law has a remedy that the commission should re-mobilise and re-conduct elections in the affected polling units within 24 hours, so we are really, really comfortable where we are.”