The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is yet to release the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS), an electronic device designed to read Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and authenticate voters to any of the five Southeast states, including Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra, Abia and Imo.
Chidi Nwafor, INEC Administration Secretary in Enugu who disclosed this during an interface with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Fact-Finding Mission for Nigerian elections in Enugu, said that the commission had received non-sensitive materials except the BVAS which he said might be connected with activities of unknown gunmen.
He recalled how the gunmen attacked and burnt some of the commission’s offices in Enugu and other parts of the Southeast.
According to Nwafor, the commission still lacked vehicles, adding that since the attack at the headquarters of the commission in Enugu where so many vehicles were burnt, the national quarters had not replaced them.
He said “As we speak, our database has been cleaned ahead of elections against any errors and virus. We have vehicle issues – after attack on our office, our vehicles have been depleted and the national quarters are aware of it.”
He expressed optimism that early logistics movement and time would resolve most of the election challenges the commission had had in the past, citing Osun and Ekiti governorship elections.
Earlier ECOWAS Fact-Finding Mission for Nigerian Elections, led by Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, former Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, said that the 2023 general elections in Nigeria remained important to the African continent and beyond.
Afari-Gyan, who had earlier met on Tuesday met with the members of the Civil Society Organisations, Media practitioners and political parties and leadership of Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC), said that success of any election depended on involvement of all stakeholders needed.
He therefore urged everyone to play their roles to achieve democratic expectations – which would enthrone peaceful, credible, free and fair elections.
Members of the ECOWAS delegation included Mr Mohammed Konnel, the Chief Electoral Commissioner, Sierra Leone; Dr Remi Ajibewa, Director, of Political Affairs, ECOWAS and Dr Onye Orukuwa, Head of Peace and Mediation Unit.
Others were ASP Nuru Hamidu, Head of ECOWAS Security and Mr Abu Turay, Election Technical Expert, ECOWAS.