A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, said the electoral commission owes Nigerians an explanation over the failure of the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) and the Bimodal Voter Registration Systems (BVAS) during the 2023 general elections.
Jega made this assertion in an interview with Channels Television during the weekend.
The former Vice-Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano, blamed desperate politicians for allegedly infiltrating the two technological systems introduced by INEC for the accreditation and electronic transmission of votes in the last elections.
Recall that during the February 2023 presidential and National Assembly polls, there was public outcry that INEC officials at the polling units were unable to upload election results electronically to the IReV, as stipulated by Section 60 of the Electoral Act 2022.
The opposition parties kicked against the manual collation of results and the announcement of winners in the polls.
The electoral body acknowledged that certain glitches made real-time transmission of results impossible and promised to fix the situation.
But, the opposition parties approached the courts and challenged the victory of Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who was declared winner of the presidential election.
Tinubu later won at the tribunal and the Supreme Court. Jega said though INEC meant well, some politicians circumvented the whole IReV and BVAS systems.
Speaking on the IReV issue, however, Jega said, “In 2023, INEC did its best under very difficult circumstances and a lot of these difficult circumstances were caused by the mindset of our selfish politicians who wanted to win by hook or by crook.
“INEC has overtime introduced technology to make the process of election results very transparent with integrity but from my own experience when I was in INEC from 2011 to 2015;
“…and I suspect that a lot of that has continued to be so up to 2023, our reckless politicians try to be a step ahead of INEC; if you introduce something today and you try it, they try to be a step ahead of you and beat it by the next election.