Oyo State REC Says INEC Cannot Release BVAS for Local Government Elections

INEC refuses to provide BVAS for Oyo local elections, citing need to protect sensitive voter data and maintain integrity of national polls. Oyo state to use voter register instead.

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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Oyo State REC Says INEC Cannot Release BVAS for Local Government Elections

Oyo State REC Says INEC Cannot Release BVAS for Local Government Elections

Dr Adeniran Tella, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Oyo State, has announced that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will not be able to provide the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) for the upcoming local government elections scheduled for April 27, 2024. Tella explained that the BVAS machines contain sensitive voter data and are meant to be used only for general elections conducted by INEC.

In a statement, Tella clarified that "BVAS is a sensitive device that INEC cannot afford to share for local elections" and that "OYSIEC only needs the voter register to know the number of registered and eligible voters." INEC has already provided the voter register to OYSIEC, which will enable them to determine the number of registered voters and those eligible to participate in the local government elections.

The REC emphasized that INEC's decision to withhold the BVAS machines is based on the need to protect sensitive voter information and maintain the integrity of the devices for national elections. He reassured the public that INEC will continue to partner with civil society organizations to ensure free, fair, transparent, inclusive, and credible elections in Oyo State and across Nigeria.

Why this matters: The decision by INEC to not release the BVAS machines for local government elections highlights the importance placed on safeguarding sensitive voter data and maintaining the integrity of the electoral process. It also underscores the distinction between the roles and responsibilities of national and state-level electoral bodies in Nigeria.

Tella reiterated INEC's commitment to collaborating with stakeholders to uphold democratic principles and encouraged civil society organizations to submit their observation reports from the 2023 general elections. The Oyo State local government elections will proceed as planned on April 27, 2024, with OYSIEC utilizing the voter register provided by INEC to conduct the polls.

Key Takeaways

  • INEC will not provide BVAS for Oyo's local govt elections due to data sensitivity.
  • INEC has provided the voter register to OYSIEC for the April 2024 elections.
  • INEC emphasizes protecting voter data and maintaining BVAS integrity for national polls.
  • INEC will continue collaborating with stakeholders to ensure credible elections.
  • Oyo local govt elections will proceed with OYSIEC using INEC's voter register.