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‘Buhari’s endorsement of BVAS is best Christmas gift’

By Muyiwa Adeyemi and Sobechi Onyekachi
25 December 2021   |   4:07 am
Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu, said Nigerians should diligently see President Muhammadu Buhari’s endorsement of electronic transmission of election results through Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) as the best Christmas gift to the country.
Nigeria President

[FILES] Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari

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Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu, said Nigerians should diligently see President Muhammadu Buhari’s endorsement of electronic transmission of election results through Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) as the best Christmas gift to the country.

According to him, those who felt disappointed over Buhari withholding assent to Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021 do not appreciate the significance of the retention of electronic transmission of results with its BVAS component.

“BVAS, which is the vaccine against vote rigging and enabler of free and fairer elections in Nigeria, is the Christmas gift to Nigerians.”

Okechukwu said that by collectively endorsing the use of BVAS technology, President Buhari, federal lawmakers and dedicated officials of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) deserved commendation.

While assuring that Buhari would bequeath to Nigerians a clean amended Electoral Act as a good gesture for the development of the nation’s democracy, the DG noted that the journey to Nigeria’s electoral reforms is a work in progress.

To him, President Buhari has remained on the track in the arduous task of cleaning up the nation’s political space.

But the Supreme Head, Cherubim and Seraphim Unification Church of Nigeria, His Most Eminence, Prophet Solomon Adegboyega Alao, called on the National Assembly to stand on the side of the people and override President Buhari on the Electoral Act amendment bill that he refused to sign.

In his Christmas message, Alao said it was unfortunate that President Buhari mised the opportunity to bestow a legacy that would reform Nigeria’s electoral process, deepens democracy and allow mass participation of party members to elect candidates of their party.

According to the clergyman, Buhari’s failure to approve direct primary is against his promise of fighting corruption because while it is possible for crooked politicians to manipulate and bribe delegates at indirect primaries, it is absolutely impossible to bribe millions of party members that will participate in direct primaries.

Alao, who posited that it is possible for all the parties to hold their primaries on the same day to prevent people who registered with different parties to vote in more than one congress, dismissed the argument by the Presidency that direct primaries will be too expensive?

“How can the country say the cost of ensuring people’s participation in electoral process would be too expensive? We all know that parties sponsor themselves and it is only INEC that government picks its bill.

“President Buhari must be wary of the advice he gets, especially from the Attorney General and Minister of Justice and other politicians who are only interested in their self agenda.

“The current situation provides an opportunity for the leadership of the National Assembly to prove that they are not rubber stamp and appendage of the Presidency by vetoing the bill.”