INEC urged to ensure functionality of its devices


Bayelsa State Government has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the devices they invested the nation’s resources for free and fair elections in 2023 function properly on election day.

They also warned the Commission against complaints of non-functionality of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS) for voters during elections.

Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy, Hon. Ayibaina Duba, stated this yesterday during the 8th Annual Public Lecture organized by the Federated Correspondents’Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bayelsa State Council in Yenagoa, the state capital.

He described the theme of the lecture “Ensuring Free and Fair Elections In The Face of Security Challenges” as a harp considering the experiences of previous elections in Nigeria.

He said: “The question of free and fair election is about us as Nigerians when a community tells a stranger who registered in their Community not to vote, is it the electoral umpire that is doing that?

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“INEC staff who collaborate with the people that rig election are they not human, INEC is an organization filled with human beings who are doing what they are doing, that is why I urged them that whatever they spent out in our common resources to organized, they should not come back to tell Nigerians that those things don’t exist.” He said.

The former Chairman of the chapel and Director, New Media to Bayelsa State Governor, Dr Kola Oredipe, said with BIVAS, INEC and voters have a lot of things to do to achieve free and fair election.

He commended the chapel for contributing their own quota in shaping the society through the series of yearly lectures.

Meanwhile, a university don and director of the institute of Niger Delta studies, Niger Delta University, Prof Solomon Ebobrah has said the spate of insecurity and rampant attacks on INEC facilities in some parts of the country is a major threat to free and fair elections in 2023.

Prof Ebobrah said this while delivering the 8th annual public lecture organized by the Federated Correspondents Chapel of the NUJ in Bayelsa state, posited that the security threats have affected free campaigns and voters registration as well as the ongoing distribution of permanent voters cards, thereby hampering the principle of free and fair elections.

Ensuring free and fair elections in the face of security challenges, the university don Urged security operatives to be seen protecting the voters and not people in government or other important personalities to guide against voter’s apathy during the next elections.

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