By Ed Malik, A | November 24, 2022
Prominent civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Thursday, said it is election riggers that are afraid of the introduction of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for the February 2023 general elections.
The group also slammed the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Adamu for giving flimsy, illogical, primitive and irrational excuses as reasons the Independent National Electoral Commission should not deploy the BVAS and the INEC Result Viewing Portal for the 2023 elections.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said only corrupt politicians whose victories are gotten through rigging and manipulation of the system are afraid of the electronic transmission of results for next year’s polls, and also, noting that the attempts made by some saboteurs to deploy all sorts of underhand tactics to get the Court to undermine the use of technology in the election must be thwarted or else the stability of the nation may be imperilled into an abysmal tailspin.
The group said already the Nigerian Communications Commission has pledged to work with telecom operators to ensure network coverage all over the country so as to enable the electronic transmission of results like other parts of the world.
According to reports, Adamu on Wednesday told a Commonwealth delegation on the 2023 General Election in Abuja that he doubted if the introduction of BVAS for transmission of election in real time would produce free and fair elections in 2023.
The APC national chairman said he is not sure that there is network coverage all over Nigeria. Also, APC National Organising Secretary, Suleiman Argungu said some BVAS machines’ batteries might not be recharged due to epileptic power supply.
Commenting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The reasons given by the two APC excos are lame and untenable for the nation not to transmit 2023 elections results electronically. Obviously, politicians are threatened by the planned deployment of this technology because it will expose their shenanigans and electoral malfeasance perpetrated during elections over the decades.
“In advanced democracies, electronic transmission of results is a norm and without hassles. Why are politicians like Abdullahi Adamu afraid? After the NCC said it has the capacity to ensure nationwide uninterrupted telecom transmissions? HURIWA rejects the old order of manual recording of election results that allows for the manipulation of election outcomes.
“HURIWA also warns politicians like Adamu to stop mounting veiled pressure on INEC to jettison electronic transmission of results through the BVAS and IReV.
“Already, these desperate politicians whose lives are akin to rigging have gone to court to use the judiciary to stop their potential defeat that is inevitable with the deployment of BVAS and IReV in the 2023 elections. Now that their plot to use the court to stop the electronic transmission of election results has failed, they have resorted to covert pressure and threats. The electoral body should not hesitate to call out such politicians harassing it and report them to security agencies to deal with them decisively.
“BVAS’ stipulation in the Electoral Act of 2022 means it has come to stay and Adamu and his co-travellers should understand that quickly. It’s game over for election-riggers because BVAS guarantees the accreditation of voters through biometrics capturing, uploading of results amongst others! The BVAS, undoubtedly, is an upgrade of the smartcard reader deployed in the 2019 elections. INEC must remain unwavering in its resolve to deploy this technology. INEC should not cower to the inconsequential veiled pressure of Adamu and his co-travellers! It’s game over for them! Only the will of the Nigerian people will count in 2023!”
HURIWA however is charging the Independent National Electoral Commission to eradicate the millions of child voters captured as legitimate voters in the recently publicised national voters register. On no account should infants and toddlers be given permanent voters cards and the practice of letting children vote in elections as witnessed in Kano State in the last election must not be allowed just as HURIWA has asked for the arrest of the Kano State’s chairman of APC who was quoted as saying that All Progressives Congress will win in Kano State by hook or crook. The police in Abuja should arrest him and question him because he already has exposed the evil machinations that his party will bring to bear in the coming election and the police need not wait until the harm is done before acting.