BY TONY NWAKA
There is no doubt we all have our different views about how Nigeria has fared in the last seven and half years of President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration. While many of us are fascinated by the impressive leaps in new railways, roads, bridges, institutions of higher learning, hospitals, high-tech diagnostic centres, airport reconstructions, local rice production, dry and deep sea ports, recovery of looted funds etc, some other people still have strong reservations about these milestones.
But whatever side of the divide our opinions find habitation, the accomplishment that may likely immortalize the identity of President Mohammadu Buhari is the new Electoral Act, particularly the introduction of Biomodal Voter Accreditation System and INEC Result Viewing Portal (BVAS and IReV). These innovations have not only brought an end to the traditional stuffing of ballot boxes and falsification of election results, but also triggered a budding political climate with potentially immeasurable benefits for our country.
It is therefore quite disturbing that few months to an election that would mark the birth of a new Nigeria, suspicions are being expressed about plots to scuttle the use of BVAS and IReV. This is most unfortunate. Thankfully, INEC has come out to reaffirm in strong terms its resolve to deploy the BVAS and IReV in the 2023 general elections. Let us hope and pray that the reported attempts to frustrate the use of these groundbreaking creations remain mere speculation.
We must be seen to be moving irreversibly toward the higher ideals of democracy, not minding the individuals or political parties that become the early beneficiaries of the aforesaid electoral innovations. Of greater collective advantage is the institution of a culture that would populate elective offices with credible, competent, and accessible Nigerians (the legitimate choices of the people) and consequently unleash the true capacity of our great country. There is no higher goal of democracy than that; it is the pinnacle of political excellence. And so would the imprint of President Buhari be permanently engraved on the pages of posterity, with its decibels echoing magnificently across generations, even beyond the shores of our fatherland.