Election management body reschedules State Assemblies and Governorship elections by one week, solicits understanding of Nigerians
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has postponed the March 11 elections for Governorship and State Houses of Assembly across the country.
According to a statement by INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, the twin elections will now hold on Saturday, 18th March 2023. A decision the commission says was taken to enable it to reconfigure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machine for the elections as earlier ordered by the Presidential Elections Petition Tribunal (PEPT).
Okoye, in the statement, added that the election management body took the stand so as to enable the commission have ample time to back up the data stored in the over 170,000 BVAS machines and to reconfigure it for the upcoming elections for Governorship and State Assemblies which has been its practice even while it was using Smart Card Readers (SCR).
Nigerians will recall that the Presidential Elections Petition Tribunal (PEPT) had earlier granted the two major opposition political parties who are disputing the February 25 Presidential Elections; the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP), access to inspect the elections materials. Hence the appeal by INEC to the Tribunal for it to be granted the right to reconfigure the machines.
“It is not against litigants who seek to inspect elections materials, as we will grant them access to it so as to enable them pursue their cases in court,” part of the statement read.
The statement concluded by stating that the data will be stored on the INEC iCloud facilities, including the Results Viewing Portal (IREV), to enable political parties and candidates apply for the certified true copies of the backend of the BVAS.
Also, results will continue to be available on the IREV for interested parties to view, while thanking Nigerians for their understanding as they continue to deal with these difficult issues as they arrive.