The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has made a significant announcement that is causing a stir in Nigeria’s political scene. The much-awaited governorship and state assembly elections scheduled for Saturday have been postponed to March 18, 2023. This decision was made due to INEC’s inability to promptly reconfigure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines used during the February 25 presidential election to enable their use in the state elections.
The BVAS system is a technology-driven process introduced by INEC in the 2019 general elections to ease the accreditation of voters during elections. It involves two modes of authentication: fingerprint and facial recognition. However, the machines were not ready for use in the upcoming elections due to legal issues that arose after the presidential election. INEC was earlier restrained from tampering with the information embedded in the BVAS machines until due inspection was conducted, and Certified True Copies (CTC) were issued to candidates who are challenging the outcome of the presidential election.
INEC’s decision to postpone the elections is a result of its commitment to upholding the law and ensuring a credible electoral process. According to a statement released by the commission, “The decision is in compliance with the legal requirement and to ensure that we conduct a free, fair and credible election.” It is a necessary step to ensure that all voters are given the opportunity to exercise their democratic right to choose their leaders without any impediment.
This decision has been met with mixed reactions from different quarters. While some people have commended INEC for taking the right step, others have expressed disappointment and frustration. Many Nigerians were eagerly waiting for the elections to take place and were already making plans to exercise their right to vote. However, INEC has assured the public that it is doing everything possible to ensure that the new date for the elections is well publicized and that all stakeholders are carried along.
In conclusion, the postponement of the governorship and state assembly elections is a necessary step taken by INEC to ensure that the elections are conducted in line with the law and best practices. The commission’s decision is a testament to its commitment to delivering free, fair, and credible elections in Nigeria. The public is urged to remain patient and stay engaged as we all work towards building a better democracy.