•Party appoints acting national secretary till court order against Anyanwu is vacated
•Electoral Body: Alleged manipulation of accreditation data on IReV false
Chuks Okocha and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ambassador Illya Damqgum, yesterday, accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of completely derailing democracy in Nigeria.
The party leadership also appointed the deputy national secretary, Sakonji Koshedo, as the National Secretary pending when the party would vacate the suit against his office
Speaking on the outcome of Saturday’s off-season elections in Imo and Kogi States, which the party lost, Damqgum said, “This has further confirmed that the electoral body has completely derailed from the road it was supposed to take.
“People have lost confidence. Voters were completely disenfranchised due to the complicity of some of the agencies that were to help to have a very fair election but they completely compromised.
“We want to state in clear terms that the election held on Saturdays has further confirmed the fears that has been laid on the umpire. We have seen all sorts of violence, intimidation and high handedness. This election is worst than even the one we had earlier.
“I want to use this medium to tell Nigerians that this is not what we bargained for and also express our fear that if we go on in this kind of manner, I am afraid that come other elections that will be off-season which is coming up very soon, maybe there will be no election in this country. It will be a written result.
“I ask all Nigerians to pray for this country because I don’t know if this is a curse that has happened to us in this country or if this is our way. We should pray that if this is what we are, then God should intervene. However, those that have been be cheated in this election should purse their grievance through the lawful means even though we have doubts that even the lawful means is also a sad story. In a country where justice is not dispensed, then, anarchy is imminent.
On the affairs of the party, he said, ”As you can see, we’ve been doing everything possible to make sure that this party remain indivisible and we will continue to do that. I want to urge our members to be very cautious especially in the way and manner they state things. They should always state facts because it is only the facts that lasts. I want to assure them that we will continue to do justice to all.”
He said that the national working committee (NWC) was ready to take all the blames because after every election, there would be blame but all members should reflect on the roles they played during campaigns, during elections and after.
“We should have a self-reflection so that at the end of the day, we shall know weather we are doing the right thing because we all need this party. Our duty here is to make sure that this party remains indivisible,” he said
On Senator Samuel Anyanwu, who resumed duty yesterday, he said, “Since there are conflicting court orders, we urged the two sides to stand down and we have agreed and appointed the Deputy National Secretary to continue to act as Secretary pending the time we will resolve all the issues – the conflicting court orders and resolutions of the south east. So there is no conflict and we are together and thinking together on this issue.”
INEC: Alleged Manipulation of Accreditation Data on IReV False
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied reports that it tampered with the accredited figures of voters in the Kogi governorship election results uploaded on the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal.
National Commissioner and Member Information and Voter Education Committee, Mohammed Haruna, described the reports as unfounded, and urged the public to disregard the report he described as misleading and a piece of misinformation.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) attention has been drawn to some media reports alleging that the commission was tampering with the accredited figures of voters in the Kogi Governorship Election results uploaded on the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal. However, these reports are unfounded.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the most accurate and up-to-date Voters’ Accreditation Data is available in the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), which is used for the authentication and accreditation of registered voters at various polling units on election day. It automatically retains the accreditation data of all voters,” he said.
The commission further explained that BVAS was designed to primarily work offline without internet connectivity, which facilitates faster and seamless authentication and accreditation experience for voters.
Haruna added that when its application was active or in use, depending on the strength of its connection to the Internet, the BVAS automatically exports the accreditation data to the Accreditation Backend System (ABS).
He noted that this exportation of data did not happen when the device’s application was inactive or when the internet connectivity was poor.
Haruna said: “The same experience applies to a situation where more than one BVAS gadget is used at a polling unit with more than 1,250 registered voters.
“This could be compared to a situation when poor network services delay the delivery of an SMS sent from one individual to another through a mobile phone.”
Haruna stressed that at the close of the poll, Presiding Officers are expected to press the data exportation button on the BVAS to ensure that all the accreditation data are exported to the ABS.
“This process, referred to as synchronisation and which is ongoing, could lead to changes in the accreditation figures as more data flow in to update the existing figures.
“This is the basis for the caveat provided on the IReV portal, regarding the accreditation figures. The accreditation data cannot be changed on the BVAS after the close of the poll,” he explained.