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Anambra: Group urges INEC to enhance BVAs’ effectiveness

08 November 2021   |   9:27 am
The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room Observers, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to review the issues

Electoral officials cancel unused ballot papers at a polling station during the Anambra State governorship election at Uga, Aguata district in southeast Nigeria, on November 6, 2021. – Nigeria’s restive southeastern state of Anambra voted for a new governor on October 6, 2021, in a ballot seen as a test of the electoral system less than 18 months before presidential polls. More than 30,000 police have been dispatched to secure Anambra after a string of attacks in the southeast blamed on separatists from the Indigenous People of Biafra or IPOB who agitate for an independent state for the local Igbo people. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room Observers, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to review the issues surrounding the usage of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation system (BVAs) for future elections.

Mrs Ene Obi, the Convener of the group, told newsmen in Awka on Monday that the call follows several incidents when the BVAs malfunctioned, failing to accredit voters in some polling units.

According to Obi, the rate of complain about the BVAs was high, adding that the Electoral body needed to review and solve the issues before subsequent elections, especially the 2023 general elections.

“The major problem is the failure of the BVAs. No excuse why the BVAs should not have functioned.

“We got reports of how the device rejected fingerprints, faces of voters, and consequently delayed the entire process.

“We appeal to INEC to sort out the hitches before the supplementary election on Tuesday to ensure a free, fair and credible process.

“They should also carry out proper training of ad-hoc staff on how to use the BVAs before sending them to the field.”

Obi also decried the late distribution of Permanent Voter Cards before the election and non-compliance with the COVID-19 protocol during the election.

She, however, commended INEC for observing the guidelines mapped out for the elderly, persons with disabilities and pregnant women.

She also commended security agencies, the media as well as the people for conducting themselves peacefully during the election.

NAN reports that INEC has suspended collation of results of the Nov. 6 governorship election in Anambra, pending the conduct of election in Ihiala Local Government Area.

Prof. Florence Obi, the INEC Returning Officer for the state governorship election, and Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Cross River, made the announcement on Sunday night in Awka, indicating that the Ihiala election would be conducted on Tuesday, Nov. 9.