Why Nigerians Shouldn’t Panic Over Possible Failure of BVAS – INEC


As the 2023 elections are drawing closer, there is apprehension in the air that the Bimodal Voter Registration Systemt (BVAS) could fail and render many electorate disenfranshised. However, the Indepemdent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured Nigerians not to panic. INEC has made provisions for the gadget in the over 176,000 polling units across Nigeria.

Festus Okoye, the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, told Nigerians during his interview on Channels Television’s ‘Sunday Politics’, noted that the Commission had “trained technicians who would be on standby at polling units.”

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye

In Okoye’s words: “For each electoral ward, we are going to have some spare BVAS to be deployed speedily if there is any issue or any challenge in any of our polling units. We have also trained technical support staff that can also intervene if there is any challenge with the BVAS.

“But if there is sustained malfunction of the BVAS up to the time of the closing of the poll, the Electoral Act demands that we should undermine voting in that particular polling unit and repeat voting within 24 hours,” Okoye stated.

Is it possible to harvest PVCs to rig the elections? Okoye responded, “In terms of any politician bypassing the BVAS, I want to tell you that that will not happen, that is an impossibility,” Okoye said.

“Anybody who is purchasing a permanent voter card is just engaging in an exercise in futility. The only thing any person can do is to make sure the voter does not vote on election day but for you to come to the polling unit on election day with a voter’s card belonging to someone else, and you attempt to vote with it, that is an impossibility, the BVAS will not capture your fingerprint,” Okoye said.

He explained further: “We removed polling units from the palaces of traditional rulers, we removed polling units that are near the homes of politicians, we removed polling units that are in shrines, we also removed polling units from places we consider not conducive for electoral business.”