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Elections : BVAS has come to stay – INEC

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INEC cannot be stampeded to issue Certificate of Return to Uwajumogu, says Okoye

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday said that the use of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for accreditation during elections has come to stay.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, said this at the one-day Implementation meeting for the FCT Area Council Election on Friday in Abuja.

Okoye said that INEC would continue to come up with innovations to check electoral malpractices and strengthen democratic governance in the country.

Okoye said that BVAS would be used for FCT area council elections, as it had assisted the commission to conduct credible and well accepted election in the Anambra governorship election.

He said those used to electoral corruption, cutting corners in the electoral process, snatching ballot boxes and ballot papers would never easily accept any change that would deny them.

“That is what the whole issue about the BVAS is. So, let me say it very clearly that the BVAS as a form and mode of accreditation has come to stay, and the Commission can only keep improving on it, but jettisoning it will not be possible,” he said.

Okoye called on stakeholders to support the commission to conduct a hitch-free FCT Area Council poll, scheduled for Feb. 12, 2022.

The INEC official stressed that the commission would provide necessary information that would guide stakeholders, especially the National Orientation Agency and the National Youth Service Corps for effective communication with the electorate during the poll.

In his remarks, the FCT INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Yahaya Bello, said adequate measures are being adopted to educate political parties and FCT residents on the locations of about 3,000 polling units, including newly-created ones in the six area councils in the territory.

Bello said regular meetings are also being organised with security agencies, the traditional institution and political parties to ensure the safety of INEC staff and electoral materials during the election.

The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, commended INEC Staff for their commitment towards deepening democracy in the country.

Oyekanmi appealed to INEC staff and other stakeholders to keep abreast with innovations being introduced by the commission and work as a team to conduct an inclusive election in the FCT.

Emmanuel Oloniruha

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