‘I feel Something Happened, INEC Must Explain Why IReV Failed’ — Jega

Jega made these remarks during an interview on Channels Television's Inside Sources with Laolu Akande.

Adoga Stephen By Adoga Stephen - Editor-In-Chief
4 Min Read

Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has stated that the commission needs to explain the reasons behind the failure of the Result Viewing Portal (IReV) and the Bimodal Voter Registration Systems (BVAS) during the 2023 general elections.

Jega made these remarks during an interview on Channels Television’s Inside Sources with Laolu Akande.

He attributed the failure of these technological systems, which were introduced by INEC for the accreditation and electronic transmission of votes, to the interference of desperate politicians.

Opposition parties had raised concerns during the February 2023 presidential and National Assembly polls, as INEC officials at the polling units were unable to upload election results electronically to the IReV, as required by Section 60 of the Electoral Act 2022. The parties criticized the manual collation of results and the announcement of winners in the polls.

The electoral commission admitted that there were some issues that prevented the immediate transmission of results. They promised to address these problems, but opposition parties took the matter to court and contested the victory of Bola Tinubu from the All Progressives Congress (APC), who was declared the winner of the presidential election. Tinubu eventually won at both the tribunal and the Supreme Court. Jega, the head of the electoral commission, stated that although they had good intentions, some politicians found ways to bypass the IReV and BVAS systems.

He 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 over time 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. And of course, they can also use ways and means to not only truncate but also bypass something that has actually been put legitimately in order to add to the integrity of the process.

“If you ask my opinion, I feel very strongly that INEC needs to tell us more about what happened with the IReV. In fact, at one point, I was even calling for a thorough public inquiry about what happened with regards to IReV. I feel that something has happened, that in spite of the confidence and the very articulate manner the INEC chairman (Mahmood Yakubu) had spoken about the IReV and it then failed.

“I believe that some of our reckless politicians may have infiltrated it and truncated it but INEC will take the blame for that.”

“We need to go back to the bottom of what happened with the IReV”.

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By Adoga Stephen Editor-In-Chief
Stephen studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology), where he acquired requisite training for the practice of journalism. He loves the media, and his interest mostly lies in print medium, where his creative writing skill makes him a perfect fit.