Anambra 2021: Centre urges INEC to improve on BVAS machines

The Executive Director, Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), Ms Faith Nwadishi, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve on the performance of the Bimodal Voters Authentication System (BVAS) in subsequent elections in the country.

The call is against the backdrop of Saturday’s Governorship Election in Anambra where the group, an election observer entity, observed that the system malfunctioned at some of the polling centres.

Nwadishi who made the call in a statement in Abuja on Monday, urged the commission to note the several reasons why the BVAS malfunctioned and take steps to improve its performance in subsequent elections.

“We do hope that the free and fair process will be replicated during the collation process with the result expected to be electronically transmitted.”

She commended INEC and all stakeholders for ensuring a free, fair and credible election so far, adding that the extension of time of voting to 4 p.m by INEC due to malfunctioning of the BVAS in some centres to ensure that every voter that turned out cast their votes is quite commendable.

On the conduct of political parties and voters, Nwadishi said “our observer reports indicated that in many of the polling units, vote buying was more brazen and was a major feature of the election.

“INEC, the security agencies and other stakeholders need to work out measures to effectively address this ugly phenomenon.

“There were 18 political parties fielding candidates but at the polling units, there were between two and five political parties whose agents were present.”

Meanwhile, INEC has suspended collation of results of the Nov. 6 governorship election in Anambra pending the conduct of the election in Ihiala Local Government Area.

Prof. Florence Obi, INEC Returning Officer for the Anambra Governorship election made the announcement on Sunday night in Awka.

Obi, who is also the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Cross River, announced that the election would be conducted in Ihiala on Tuesday, Nov. 9.

She explained that election could not hold in the LGA due to security reasons.

Quoting relevant sections of the Electoral Act and the nation’s Constitution, Obi said it would be wrong to announce the result without allowing people in 131 polling units in Ihiala to exercise their civic duties. (NAN)