Before the governor and assembly elections, fix BVAS bugs, the NBA tells INEC

The Bar additionally requested that INEC exclude from the upcoming elections its collation and returning officers who had been found guilty of malpractice in the elections of February 25.

This was revealed by the NBA’s national publicity secretary, Akorede Lawal, in an interim report made public on Tuesday.

For the February 25 elections, the NBA sent out approximately 1000 INEC-accredited observers from its 128 branches. “In general, the NBA Observers reported some satisfaction with the way the election on February 25, 2023 was conducted, but they also noted significant issues that need to be resolved for future elections.

“These include late arrival of INEC officials and ballot materials at the polling stations, malfunctioning BVAS machines, limited or non-transmission of the results from the polling units to the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV), insecurity at some polling units, including violent attacks on voters and officials, voter intimidation, snatching and destruction of voting materials, significant cases of vote-buying, and limited access facilities for people with disabilities,” the statement reads.

Results of the observation process generally “revealed that barely a quarter of the electorate were superbly impressed with the conduct of the ballots (27.1%) while most of the voters (64.6%) were somewhat content, and only 8.2% rated the election poor or very poor.”

“In light of these observations and in anticipation of the upcoming Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections scheduled for March 11, 2023, the NBA implores INEC to make sure that all BVAS machine bugs and other technical issues are fixed and improved, and that INEC staff members (including collation and returning officers) with documented cases of misconduct in the February 25, 2023 election are barred from participating in the March 11, 2023 election.

Additionally, the Inspector General of Police is encouraged to make sure that the police officers assigned to duty for the elections on March 11th, 2023, are deployed on schedule. Political parties are similarly recommended to inform its supporters and members of the need to refrain from any behavior that is against the Election Act.

The NBA also praised Nigerians for their tenacity and dedication in carrying out their civic responsibilities during the presidential and national assembly elections and urged people to exhibit the same principles and resolve during the next governorship and state house of assembly elections.

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