April 19, 2024

Why INEC can’t release BVAS for Oyo LG elections – REC


Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Oyo State, Dr Adeniran Tella, says Biomodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) can not be released to the State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) for conduct of the local government elections scheduled for April 27.

Tella stated this on Friday in Ibadan while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the quarterly consultative meeting with civil society organisations (CSOs) in the state.

He said BVAS contained sensitive data on voters, adding that it was the decision of INEC that BVAS should not be released for local government elections.

“What OYSIEC needs for the election is the voter register and this has been given to them.

“The voter register will allow the state electoral body know the number of registered voters and those who are eligible to cast their votes during the elections.

“But, BVAS is meant for the general elections and they are sensitive devices that we can not afford to toy with,” he said.

Tella, while addressing representatives of the over 25 CSOs at the consultation meeting,
re-assured that INEC would continue to partner with them to enable them to play vital roles in ensuring free, fair, transparent, inclusive and credible elections.

“This partnership will further strengthen democracy and enhance public trust in the electoral system.

“This is especially in the areas of voter education and awareness; election monitoring and observation; advocacy and election reform; voter registration; capacity building; civil engagement and participation,” he said.

The REC described the meeting as historic and unique, as it was the first of its kind to be organised at the state level.

He recalled that the commission, at its headquarters in Abuja, had held a consultative meeting with CSOs on Oct. 25, 2023, where it was agreed that quarterly consultative meetings should also be held with those at the state level.

He explained that the meeting at the state level was aimed at ensuring regular interactions between INEC and CSOs at the state level.

He commended the dedication, support, commitment and understanding of the CSOs in the last general elections in the state.

Tella equally appreciated the observations and recommendations contained in their reports on the elections.

He said that some of the reforms and innovations introduced by the commission over the years were drawn from the observation reports by the CSOs.

Tella, however, implored the accredited CSOs/observers to submit copies of their reports on the 2023 general elections to the state office of INEC, as they did at the headquarters in Abuja.

He also reminded those who had yet to submit their observation reports to do so, as it was mandatory, being one of the conditions for eligibility to observe future elections.

NAN also reports that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Adebola Hamzat, representative of the Department of State Security Service (DSS), Mr Idowu Ayomade, and his NSCDC counterpart, Mr Timothy Oladeji, were present at the consultative meeting.