The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says its results viewing portal is to enhance election transparency and not a result collation or transmission system.
INEC ICT director Paul Omokore clarified this in a presentation titled ‘The role of BVAS, IReV for Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo Governorship elections’ at a two-day capacity workshop for journalists on Monday in Akwanga, Nasarawa.
Mr Omokore advised journalists and the public not to confuse uploading polling units’ results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) with electronic transmission of results.
He said the INEC Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) was only used to upload pictures of polling units’ results on form EC8A to IReV, which does not translate to electronic transmission of results.
“Form EC8A is the result that we collated at the PUs. We use BVAS to snap this form and upload the same thing to the IReV portal for public viewing. This is not a collecting system. It does not tally a system. What it does is snap the EC8A, which is the result at the polling unit and upload the same to the public view. That is all.
“I know that 70 per cent of the populace think that the others have collected the figures. No. All what it does is snapping the EC8A that the presiding officers have collected all the scores of the parties, signed and stamped and then send this same picture to the IReV for public viewing. That is all. So it is not a collecting system,” he said.
Mr Omokore said from the inception of elections in Nigeria, results were transmitted manually from the PUs to the collation centres. He said technology deployment had proven effective in achieving free, fair and credible elections.
He said while challenges were eminent, INEC had put in extra efforts to mitigate them.
“The role of BVAS is to ensure one-person-one-vote. The role of the IReV Portal is to improve the openness and credibility of our elections,” he said.
Ezenwa Nwagwu, chair of Partners for Electoral Reform, said the core issues in election reporting are independence, unbiased and accurate media reports.
“Accurate and transparent report is the only cure for fake news, which is the responsibility of the media,” Mr Nwagu said during a presentation.
He advised the media to always investigate the reasons behind some news being presented to the media by people with biased minds on the electoral process and balance it with the provisions of the laws.