The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says its results viewing portal is to enhance election transparency and not a result collation or transmission system.
The INEC Director of ICT, Paul Omokore, gave the clarification in his 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 State.
Omokore advised journalists and members of the public not to confuse uploading PU results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) with electronic transmission of results.
He said that the INEC Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) is only used to upload pictures of PUs 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. That is all.
“I know that 70 percent of the populace thinks that the others have collected the figures. No.
“All what it does is snap 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.
Omokore said that from the inception of elections in Nigeria, results were transmitted manually from the PUs to the collation centres.
He said that technology deployment had proven to be an effective tool in achieving free, fair, and credible elections.
He said that while challenges were eminent, INEC had put in extra efforts to ensure that they were mitigated.
“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, who is also the Chairman, Partners for Electoral Reform, in his lecture titled “Ethical Dilemma in Election Reporting: Navigating Bias, Balance, and Promoting Transparency,” urged journalists to uphold accuracy in reporting.
He said that the core issues in election reporting are independence, unbiasedness, and accuracy.
“Accurate and transparent reporting is the only cure for fake news, which is the responsibility of the media,” Nwagu said.
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.