A source within the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has acknowledged that some state Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) and some politicians worked to sabotage the process in the wake of disputes and concerns surrounding the results of the general elections in 2023.
The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and IREV problems, in particular, elicited harsh condemnation from stakeholders.
According to news reports, one of the scandals that rocked the 2023 election occurred in Adamawa State, where the REC, Hudu Yunusa Ari, usurped the authority of the Chief Returning Officer, Mele Lamido, and unilaterally declared Senator Aishatu Dahiru, a candidate for governor for the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the victor before collation was complete.
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Professor Mahmood Yakubu, an inside source in the commission who defended the INEC chairman, acknowledged that there were errors in the electronic transmission of the presidential election results.
He claimed that the INEC Chairman was resolved to employ technology to conduct credible elections using BVAS and IREV, and he blamed RECs, politicians, and some stakeholders for the shortcomings.
According to the insider, some politicians and parties worked very hard alongside some RECs to sabotage the process.
He said: “We saw all the attempts some politicians, even parties, made to abort the use of technology for the polls. Some people even went to court about four times, and there were also efforts to remove Yakubu on this premise, but he stood his ground.”
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According to the INEC source, this was confirmed when a study conducted after the election revealed that BVAS’s performance during the polls was over 88 percent successful.
He said: “Some RECs were clearly partisan, for instance, 19 RECs were appointed close to the polls, and many of them were clearly partisan, and to make matters worse, some were deployed to states where they had sympathy for the ruling parties. Should we also blame INEC or the Chairman for this?”
He said that INEC had taken disciplinary action against partisan RECs, even going so far as to suggest two RECs who had behaved improperly during the elections be fired to President Muhammadu Buhari.
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