The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has once again provided clarification regarding the functions of its Result Viewing Portal, iREV, and the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BIVAS, in the electoral process. INEC issued this clarification in anticipation of the upcoming gubernatorial elections scheduled for November 11 in Bayelsa, Kogi, and Imo states.
During a visit to Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State over the weekend, INEC Chairman Yakub Mahmood assured that the results of the governorship elections in these three states would be uploaded to the iREV platform. However, INEC’s Director of ICT, Paul Omokore, took the opportunity to make a presentation entitled “The Role of BVAS and IReV in the Bayelsa, Kogi, and Imo Governorship Elections” at a two-day workshop for journalists held in Akwanga, Nasarawa State on Monday.
Omokore emphasized that the primary purpose of uploading the results to iREV is to enhance the transparency of the election process. He categorically stated that iREV is not a system for collating or transmitting results. He advised journalists and the general public not to confuse the uploading of polling unit results to INEC’s Result Viewing Portal (iREV) with the electronic transmission of results.
He explained that the INEC Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) is solely used for capturing images of polling unit results on Form EC8A, which are then uploaded to iREV. This process does not constitute electronic transmission of results.
Form EC8A contains the results that have been collected at the polling units. BVAS is utilized to capture images of this form and upload them to the iREV platform for public viewing. It is not a system for result collection, tallying, or manipulation. It simply captures the EC8A, which displays the parties’ scores as recorded by the presiding officers, complete with their signatures and stamps. This image is then shared on iREV for public transparency, but it does not alter the original data.
Omokore noted that historically, election results in Nigeria have been manually transmitted from polling units to collation centres. However, the use of technology has proven effective in promoting free, fair, and credible elections. He acknowledged that there are challenges but stressed that INEC has taken steps to address these challenges.
The role of BVAS is to ensure the principle of one-person-one-vote, while the iREV Portal is designed to enhance the transparency and credibility of elections.
In a related lecture, Ezenwa Nwagwu, the Chairman of Partners for Electoral Reform, discussed the ethical dilemmas in election reporting, emphasizing the importance of impartiality, accuracy, and transparency in media reporting. Nwagwu urged journalists to maintain unbiased and accurate reporting, as these are key in countering the spread of fake news, a responsibility that falls on the media. He also encouraged journalists to investigate the motives behind biased information presented to them concerning the electoral process and ensure that their reporting aligns with the provisions of the law.
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