January 28, 2023

2023: INEC Expects 70% Voters turnout, says no going back on BVAS

The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has said not less than seventy percent of the total voters in Nigeria are to participate in the 2023 general election.

INEC Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Victor Aluko stated this at a two-day capacity building workshop for Journalists and members of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from the North-Central region in Abuja.

Comrade Chris Isiguzo, NUJ National President.

Participants in the workshop which was held at Grand Cubana Hotel Abuja, were drawn from Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa, Kwara, Kogi, Niger states and the Federal Capital Territory FCT.

Speaking at the workshop with the theme “Conflict Sensitive Reporting, 2023 General Elections and Countering Fake News” Mr. Aluko assured that INEC was on course to ensure free, fair and credible conduct of the elections with the introduction of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).

Mr. Victor Aluko, Director Voter Education and Publicity, INEC Headquarters.

Also speaking, the Deputy Director, ICT Department of the Commission , Dr. Lawrence Bayode, added that the Commission would deploy one hundred and Ninety thousand (190,000) BVAS, popularly called “All in One” across the lengths and breaths of the nation for the conduct of the election.

Dr. Bayode also clarified that the over 2 million delisted voters for multiple registration can use their old and first voter cards to participate in the election as the Commission deregistered only the double registration.

He added that the Commission will conduct pre-voting exercise across the country to ascertain voter eligibility with the use of BVAS before the general election.

National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ, Chris Isiguzo while speaking on “Role of Media in the Conduct of Peaceful Elections” reminded the participants that peace is a basic requirement in a democracy.

A Cross Section of the Participants

“As Journalists, we are expected to develop a thorough understanding of the elections and the electoral process, an understanding of conflicts and convey these to citizens in a way that reflect the truth in all their complexities.The proper foundation established by Journalists will provide citizens with the opportunities they require to make informed judgments about issues involved and perhaps help the government in taking meaningful decisions” the President said.

He also advocated involvement of the media in the pre-voting stage during which electoral frameworks may be developed or refined to ascertain voter eligibility.

The Grant and Partnership Manager of Centre for Democracy and Development CDD, Mr. Damian Ihekoronye said the training was aimed at equipping the Journalists and Civil Societies on election matters as key components, to ensure peaceful conduct before, during and after the elections.

Highpoint of the first day workshop was a demonstration on the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) by INEC officials.