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Game-changer: How BVAS turned heavyweights to paperweights

When Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, first proposed incorporating the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System into the electoral process, there was a wave of mixed emotions among the public.

The biometric capture, uploading of polling results, and other functions of the BVAS machine enable voter accreditation.

A greater number of Nigerians were perplexed by the situation. The country’s long history of election irregularities, including rigging, ballot box snatching, thuggery, shooting, voter intimidation, vote buying, violence, and cooperation with ad hoc electoral agents and security operatives, among other things, was deeply pondered by many.

If the number of people who died as a result of bloodletting, thugs, and post-election violence is any indication, their argument may be accepted as valid.

However, Yakubu maintained his resolve and insisted on carrying out the necessary actions. For a first-time frame guest coming into contact with him, the INEC seat cut the picture of a decided umpire to show improvement over his ancestor, Prof. Attahiru Jega.

In recent interviews, Prof. Mohammad Kuna, a special Adviser to the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated that biometric technology was developed to verify permanent voter cards and enable human recognition through a biometric verification mechanism that makes use of both the fingerprint and facial recognition of voters.

He claims that the device can also take pictures of the Form EC8A polling unit result sheet and upload them to INEC’s Election Result Viewing Platform (IReV).

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When it comes to authenticating voters and ensuring that voters’ cards are genuine during accreditation, BVAS plays a crucial role.

He claimed that the electronic device’s design made it impossible for anyone to alter the IReV via BVAS-uploaded results.

The results of the uploaded polling units (PUs) cannot be altered due to the nature of BVAS. Editing the photographic results that were uploaded and sent to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) was not intended for the machine. and cannot be retrieved once sent,” he stated.

In addition, Mike Igini, the former Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), stated that BVAS had restored power to the people due to the fact that the device would make it nearly impossible for politicians to rig elections.

At the point when Yakubu demanded BVAS, it didn’t take long for Nigerians to get a more clear image of the distinction BVAS can make in a significant survey following the deficiency of the occupant Legislative leader of Osun, Adegboyega Oyetola, at the July 16 governorship political race in the state.

Ademola Adeleke of the People’s Democratic Party defeated Oyetola, a governor for the All Progressive Congress. The latter was declared the winner of the poll with 403,271 votes, while Oyetola received 375,027.

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A state election petition tribunal overturned the election that resulted in the “dancing senator” becoming governor six months later in dramatic fashion. There was alleged over-voting in favor of Adeleke, according to a report.

It was a pivotal turning point for the decision APC, and there were cries of unfairness from the resistance and pundits of the mechanical gadget. Threats and requests to abandon BVAS prior to the elections in 2023 followed this.

Rejection was received for complaints that the gadgets might be vulnerable to hackers and disrupted by telecommunication difficulties, particularly in areas without a network.

“The system of using the BVAS for the conduct of elections has come to stay,” a determined Yakubu stated publicly. There is no reversal.

He asserts that politicians will never again be able to claim undue credit by stuffing ballot boxes with invalid votes.

Festus Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner for Information, reiterated his position, describing the device as a paradigm shift in the country’s electoral system. Okoye promised that no measure of dissent can stop its use in the 2023 races.

In addition, he stated that the commission cannot reject the use of BVAS, as mandated by the Electoral Act 2022, under pressure from politicians or political parties.

Additionally, Okoye asserted that the polls in 2023 would be a surprise. After the major upsets and earthquakes that rocked the presidential and National Assembly elections on February 25, he was correct in his permutation.

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The defeat of Peter Obi, the dark horse of the election, in Lagos, reputedly the stronghold of kingmaker, political godfather, and APC presidential poster boy Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, may have been the greatest shock.

To defeat Tinubu, Obi received a total of 575,735 votes, whereas Tinubu received only 573,001 votes. The state’s nine local government areas—Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Amuwo-Odofin, Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu, Ojo, and Alimosho—were won by the Labour Party candidate.

However, the former governor of Lagos prevailed in Surulere, Agege, Apapa, Badagry, Epe, Ibeju-Lekki, Ifako-Ijaiye, Ikorodu, Lagos Island, and Lagos Mainland.

Similarly, the Social Democratic Party’s Ahmed Wadada defeated the National Chairman of the ruling APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, in his senatorial zone. Wadada won the Nasarawa South senatorial district election with 96,488 votes, defeating the APC candidate Ahmed Tukur.

In a similar vein, at least seven governors who had served two eight-year terms failed in their attempts to join Nigeria’s Senate.

Governor Samuel Ortom, a prominent member of the PDP’s five aggrieved governors, or the G-5, failed in his attempt to win the Benue North West Senatorial District at the National Assembly. He was defeated by Titus Zam, his district rival from the APC.

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