Rivers State Governor, Nysome Wike, expressed his disappointment with the Biomodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machine that was deployed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to his polling unit. The Governor and his wife, Justice Suzzette Eberechi Wike, were the first voters to arrive at polling unit 7 in Ward 9 in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area. However, the BVAS could not accredit the Governor and his wife, and after over 20 minutes of unsuccessful tries, a female electoral official appealed to them to check back later while technicians worked to rectify the fault. It was reported that the same difficulties were being experienced in other parts of Rivers State.
The BVAS machine is a crucial tool used by INEC for voter accreditation during elections. The machine works by verifying the biometric details of voters, including fingerprints and facial recognition, to prevent fraudulent practices such as multiple voting. The use of BVAS has been implemented in Nigeria since 2011 and has been widely praised for its effectiveness in preventing electoral malpractice.
The malfunctioning of the BVAS machine in Governor Wike’s polling unit raises concerns about the reliability and efficiency of INEC’s electoral machines. The credibility of the voting process is dependent on the accuracy and efficiency of these machines, and any malfunction can lead to delayed voting and possibly even voter disenfranchisement.
Furthermore, the incident in Rivers State highlights the need for contingency plans in case of technical difficulties during elections. Elections are critical to democracy, and any hitches in the voting process can undermine the credibility of the entire process. INEC should take measures to ensure that the electoral machines are adequately maintained and that technical support is readily available in case of any issues.
Finally, the malfunctioning of the BVAS machine at Governor Wike’s polling unit is a cause for concern. INEC should investigate the cause of the malfunction and take necessary measures to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. The electoral commission should also take proactive steps to ensure the reliability and efficiency of the electoral machines to prevent any hitches during elections.
Our Twitter Page