Why journalists should be familiar with electoral Act — INEC

Why journalists should be familiar with electoral Act — INEC


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has charged Media practitioners to equip themselves with the complete guidelines and provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act.

The Edo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Obo Efanga when he played host to members of Edo Media executives in his office in Benin.

He assured that the new electoral law has completely addressed virtually all grey areas that hitherto encouraged rigging of elections in the past, ahead of the 2023 general elections in Nigeria.

According to him, “The electoral act is very clear that you cannot vote if you don’t come with your permanent voter card, and why that is important is that people won’t say people voted for others”.

“This is how the BVAS works. We will still have the elections as we used to have which is manual. So, people will come to the polling unit with permanent voter’s card but unlike the smart card reader that you bring your card and we will put it there and it reads.

“This one, you don’t need to put anything, your finger prints or your facials will have to pass through so that is why we call it bimodal. And once that is done, the BVAS will indicate that this accreditation is approved, then you are given a ballot paper to vote”, he said.

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The REC allayed fears of hacking INEC server and explained that only form EC8A containing results of the election would be screenshot and uploaded to the server while the original form would be in custody of INEC officials and relevant stakeholders including journalists who are the watchdog of the society.

The Edo REC also alleged that politicians cloning PVCs would not be able to use them as Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS would be used for accreditation to capture finger prints and faces of voters and there would no room for incident form for manual accreditation.

He declared that network would not be needed to vote because BVAS had been configured with biometrics of all registered voters in every polling unit and the BVAS would last longer than the period of voting if fully charged.

He enjoined politicians to concentrate on how to convince the electorate to vote for them instead of dissipating energy to complain of possible manipulations of elections.

Efanga, decried the preponderance of unverified and misleading information on social media and advised journalists to always verify information before going to press in order not to misinform members of the public depending on them for accurate information.

Earlier, the Chairman, Edo Media Executives, Mrs Bimbola Oyetunde disclosed that the visit was informed by the desire of members to know how prepared INEC was in conducting a free and fair election in 2023.

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Abimbola, who is also the General Manager of Bronze FM, Benin, pledged partnership with the Commission.

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