The Independent National Electoral Commission has said that its results viewing portal is to boost election transparency and not a result collation or transmission system.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the INEC Director of ICT, Paul Omokore gave the clarification in his presentation’ at a two-day capacity workshop for journalists on Monday in Akwanga, Nasarawa State, dubbed, ‘The role of BVAS, IReV for Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo Governorship elections’.
Omokore admonished journalists and members of the public not to confuse uploading of PU results to INEC Result Viewing Portal with electronic transmission of results.
He clarified that INEC Bimodal Voter Accreditation System 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 collation system. It does not tally a system. What it does is to snap the EC8A which is the result at the polling unit and upload the same to the public view. That is all.
“I know that 70 per cent of the populace think that the others have collated the figures. No.
“All what it does is snapping the EC8A that the presiding officers have collated, all the scores of the parties, signed and stamped and then sends this same picture to the IReV for public viewing. That is all. So it is not a collation 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 stressed 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.
The Chairman, Partners for Electoral Reform, Ezenwa Nwagwu, in his lecture titled, ‘Ethical Dilemma in Election Reporting: Navigating Bias, Balance and Promoting Transparency’ called on journalists to uphold accuracy reporting.
He said that the core issues in election reporting are independence, unbiasedness and accuracy by the media.
“Accurate and transparent reporting is the only cure for fake news, which is the responsibility of the media,” Nwagu said.
He told the media to always investigate reasons behind some news being presented by people with biased minds on the electoral process and balance it with the provisions of the law.