NBA Speaks On Conduct Of Presidential Election By INEC, Tells Electoral Body What To Do

NBA Speaks On Conduct Of Presidential Election By INEC, Tells Electoral Body What To Do

Ahead of Saturday’s gubernatorial and houses of assembly elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has been asked to fix all glitches and bugs which prevented the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, from functioning well during the presidential election.

Akorede Lawal, the National Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, made the call on Tuesday in an interim report on the polls.

Akorede pointed out that the body was somewhat satisfied with the conduct of the presidential election by the electoral body, but called on the body to tackle technical hitches associated with the BIVAS and other issues such as, insecurity in some polling units, late arrival of materials and INEC officials, ballot box snatching, intimidation of voters, and buying of votes.

The NBA Secretary similarly appealed to Usman Alkali Baba, the Inspector General of Police, to make sure that police officers on election duty were deployed to the polling units on time.

The statement by NBA reads: “In the main, the NBA Observers expressed some satisfaction with the conduct of the election on 25th February, 2023 but have also identified major challenges that should be addressed for future elections.

“These include the late arrival of INEC officials and ballot materials at the polling stations, malfunctioning BVAS machines, limited or non-transmission of the results from the polling units to the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV), insecurity at some polling units including violent attacks on voters and officials, voter intimidation, snatching and destruction of voting materials, significant cases of vote-buying and limited access facilities for persons living with disabilities,” the report partly read.

“Generally, findings from the observation process “indicated that only a quarter of the electorate were excellently impressed with the conduct of the ballots (27.1%) while majority of the voters (64.6%) were somewhat satisfied, only 8.2% rated the election poor or very poor.”

“Stemming from these observations and in view of the impending Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections fixed for 11th March, 2023, the NBA urges INEC to ensure that all bugs or glitches in the BVAS machines and other election technology are fixed and improved and that INEC staff (including collation and returning officers) with proven cases of misconduct in the 25th February, 2023 election be excluded from the 11th March, 2023 election.

“The Inspector General of Police is also urged to ensure the timely deployment of police officers on duty for the 11th March 2023 Elections. Political parties are equally advised to educate their members and supporters on the need to eschew all forms of actions in violation of the Electoral Act.”

He similarly called on political parties to embark on enlightenment of their supporters to stop them from putting up behavior capable of undermining the electoral acts.