• Says Days Of Rigging, Ballot Box Snatching Over
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured Nigerians that any planned attack on its system during the 2023 general elections will fail.
The commission expressed optimism that next year’s general elections would be free, fair, credible and free of manipulation
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, gave the assurance at a capacity-building workshop organised for members of the INEC Press Corps in Abuja.
Yakubu maintained that the commission’s system, especially the result viewing (IReV) portal was well-fortified against hackers.
He was responding to a question on whether Nigerians should be worried over the recent disclosure of attempts by hackers to attack the cyber security system of the commission’s result viewing portal during the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections.
While giving additional information on the matter, Yakubu represented by National Commissioner, Moddibo Alkali, said over 100 attempts were made to the commission’s system during the Ekiti and Osun governorship election, but none was successful.
“We did not say our instruments were hacked. But, there were over 100 attempts to hack our system. It did not worked. At the back end, we are still improving. When you are working with an enemy, it is just like a battle. The way you prepare is the same way your enemy too would prepare. As they keep coming up with new ways to penetrate, we will be ahead of them twice in thinking and before they know it, we are done conducting the elections”.
Noting what the Bimodal Voter Registration System (BVAS) has come to say, he said the system has eliminated voting by proxy, identity theft and all forms of electoral malpractices.
According to him, politicians should be more concerned about selling themselves to the electorate, rather than creating plans to manipulate the election.
Yakubu assured Nigerians and all candidates of a level playing ground during the polls, adding that “INEC will never be biased. We are going to provide credible, free and fair and all-inclusive elections”.
“ Technology is evolving and improving, but with BVAS, we are almost covering everything. What you see now is technology all over. BVAS has eliminated voting by proxy, identity theft. It is one man, one vote. We expect you to educate the politicians that the days of rigging have gone, and the issue of incidence form is buried. ..”
INEC’s Director Legal Drafting and Clearance, Oluwatoyin Babalola, said about 1455 candidates were substituted out of 15,333 nominations made during the just-concluded exercise by political parties.
Babalola, who spoke on “Quest for Credible 2023 Poll Reflections on the Electoral Act 2022” disclosed that the commission had received more than 56 court orders affecting the nomination of candidates as of last week.
She lamented that despite the provisions in the law, some parties still failed to comply with their constitution and guidelines during the primaries.
She stressed the need for politicians to change their mindset on politicking and aspiration in order to curb the challenges of violence and other electoral malpractices.
INEC’s Director of Operations, A.T. Yusuf represented by Bolaji Oge, said plans had been concluded for the commission’s operations for next year’s poll.
“INEC has continuously embarked on planning and reviews of the electoral processes and procedures, thereby coming up with several new innovations to achieve a lasting and sustainable electoral process in line with international best practices,” he said.
Director ICT, INEC Headquarters, Paul Omokore, represented by Lawrence Bankole, Deputy Director (ICT), said technology had positively influenced the electoral process.
He added that BVAS, which has now replaced the Smart Card Reader (SCR), has been modified to include facial and fingerprint identification.