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2023 polls: Opposition parties slam APC chair, insist on BVAS

The opposition political parties have slammed the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, over the concern he expressed on…

The opposition political parties have slammed the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, over the concern he expressed on the deployment of technology for the 2023 general elections.

Adamu, on Wednesday, expressed reservations on the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) when a delegation of the Commonwealth pre-election assessment mission visited him.

Adamu said, “Our concern is how ready we are to deploy some of these technologies as regards transmission because we are taking a major step in transmitting election results in real time.

“To transmit results, in every part of the nation Nigeria, I’m not sure that the network covers it. I know that even in parts of Abuja, there is no network, and we have from now until February when in substantial parts of the country there is no electricity.

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“INEC must assure us 100 per cent that as at when due in transmitting results they are ready.”

However, in its reaction, the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), described Adamu’s statement as reckless and undemocratic.

The spokesman of NNPP, Major Agbor, said the use of BVAS has come to stay.

“It is expected to add value to the system by ensuring the probity and sanctity of votes cast. My party has since embraced the use of technology in elections as tenable in other democracies.

“APC is afraid of the use of technology because they have mismanaged and failed the nation in all spheres and have nothing new to tell the electorate.

“They have only resorted to looking for openings to manipulate the process, as they have done in the past. I can assure you that Nigerians are on guard and ready to deal with them, they will be punished in 2023,” he said.

Similarly, the Labour Party (LP) has said the ruling party is jittery because the door to rigging has been shut with the BVAS.

The party, through its spokesman, Dr Arabambi Abayomi, urged the electoral body not to be swayed by, “APC’s antics to rig the poll.”

“They are already jittery because the door to rigging has been shut against them. You will recall that they are used to writing results, but that era is gone.

“I will only advise INEC not to be swayed by the antics of the APC. The electoral body should continue to put measures that will sanitise the electoral process in place,” he said.

On its part, the PDP Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) said the party is committed to credible elections with the use of the BVAS, adding that jettisoning it can set the country on fire.

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Thursday on Adamu’s statement, the Director of Strategic Communication of the Atiku/Okowa Campaign, Dele Momodu, said they were surprised that at this time and age APC would still want Nigeria to operate analogue elections.

“The world has gone digital and anything that will eliminate political thuggery, cheating and rigging, I will expect any reasonable political party to support it,” he said.

Also speaking on the matter, the Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Mallam Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, told Daily Trust that Nigerians know that there are lots of people who do not want the country to have peaceful and credible elections.

“We are surprised by this position by the ruling party. Ideally, the ruling party should have been at the forefront of promoting transparency and credible elections in Nigeria. But unfortunately, this comment and other comments made in the past show that they don’t want the country to get it right,” Rafsanjani said.

He also said that the network and electricity challenges cited by Senator Abdullahi Adamu are not tenable, because there are communications going on, stressing, “that simply cannot be a reason to oppose a system that will bring some level of sanity and decency” to the electoral process.

By Ismail Mudashir, Abbas Jimoh & Baba Martins