Group urges INEC to correct BVAS hitches, safeguard lives of ad hoc staff
The Gender Perspective and Social Development Centre (GPSDC) has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve on the functionality of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).
Mrs Eucharia Anekwe, Executive Director, GPSDC, made the call on Saturday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka.
Anekwe also urged INEC to improve its performance by addressing challenges experienced during the Feb. 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections, ahead of the Governorship and Houses of Assembly Elections in Anambra.
Anekwe said there were complaints from the report of observers and the groups deployed to polling units across the state.
She said due to BVAS malfunctions, the lives of adhoc staff, especially NYSC members were put at risk as some angry electorate manhandled and threatened the staff.
“INEC promised that the BVAS will make the election the most credible. Even during the mock election in Anambra, the BVAS worked well.
“It is sad that on Feb. 25, we saw BVAS malfunctions, long delays and slow results upload to the commission’s server.
“The BVAS malfunction at most polling units endangered the lives of INEC ad hoc staff at places like Ihiala in Anambra, and this development might also demoralise electorate, especially women and youths.
“We are calling on INEC to correct the errors ahead of the March 11 Governorship and State Assembly elections, to earn the trust and confidence of electorate in the electoral process, ” she said.
Anekwe commended youths and women for coming out in large number to exercise their civic responsibilities without fear.
She urged youths and women not to be demoralised but turn out en-mass to cast their votes on March 11, for their choice of state legislators as Anambra would not be participating in the governorship election.
Anekwe said her group also observed cases of vote buying and selling at some polling units where some political parties were seen distributing wrappers, food items and cash transfers to electorate.
“Our group will continue voter education in communities to educate residents on the moral implications of vote buying and selling.
“They are mortgaging their future by indulging in such act,” she said.