2023: INEC to test run Bimodal Voter machine on other elections – Gaya
Senator representing Kano South Senatorial district and former governor of Kano State, Kabiru Gaya has expressed shock at the disappointment at Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) which failed in some polling units at the just concluded Anambra Governorship election.
Gaya, who is the Chairman of Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said the Senate keenly watched developments and was concerned.
He said his Committee has agreed with INEC to re-test the machines on other stand-alone elections in 2022 before the general election in 2023.
He spoke on Thursday at the National Assembly after he presented the report of his Committee to the Senate Committee on Appropriation.
He maintained: “We keenly watched the Anambra governorship election and we realised that BIVAS have serious problems.
“We are surprised that the machines malfunctioned at the Anambra governorship election because they worked perfectly when INEC demonstrated them for us at the Committee.
“We have agreed to try the machines in other elections coming up in 2022 so as to determine their functionality before the 2023 general election.
According to him, the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu was also disappointed in the development, which he has told the lawmakers that the electoral umpire would strive to correct the machines before any election in Nigeria.
The lawmaker ruled out any sabotage in the case of Anambra election.
He continued: “We still have the Ekiti and Osun elections coming up. However, INEC is already working on the solution so that we would not have problems in 2023.
“I will not agree that it is a case of sabotage because it is an electronic device that could fail but we already have provisions for spare. If a machine fails, a new one would be brought in.
“It is even good that it happened in the Anambra governorship election. If it had happened at the general election, it would have been catastrophic.
“Unlike in the past, when funds for elections were released a few weeks to the exercise, this time, we specifically mentioned that part of the funds meant for the election must be provided a year before the election.
“That is why we have a proposal for partial release of N100 billion for the 2023 general election in the 2022 budget. We are hoping that we could get further funding before the election.
“The N100 billion will allow INEC to order materials that it would need ahead of the elections including machines that could be manufactured here in the country.”