Senator Abdullahi Adamu, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says reports that he was opposed to the deployment of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Results Viewing Portal (IReV), for next year’s general elections, are erroneous.
The APC chairman at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday, said he was only expressing reservations about the challenges of electricity supply and irregular telecommunication signals in outlining voting districts of the country.
Recall that Adamu had at a meeting with the pre-election delegation of the Commonwealth Election Observation Mission on Wednesday in Abuja, said, “First, I was privileged to serve as a Senator. Our concern is how ready are we to deploy some of these technologies as regards transmission because we are taking a major step in transmitting election results in real time.
“To transmit results, every part of the nation Nigeria, I am not sure that the network covers it. I know that even in parts of Abuja, there is no network and we have from now till February when in substantial parts of the country there is no electricity?
“INEC must assure us 100 percent that as and when due in transmitting results, they are ready because they spoke about recharging batteries but we had in previous elections when it said it could not recharge.”
At the same meeting, National Organizing Secretary of the party, Ambassador Suleiman Argungu had also said the new technology may not work in his home state, Kebbi.
However, Adamu, on Thursday, said he was grossly misquoted.
Represented by the National Publicity Secretary, Mr Felix Morka, he said: “You would recall that on Wednesday, the National Chairman of our party and some members of the National Working Committee, NWC, hosted a delegation from the Commonwealth pre-election mission to discuss with the party regarding preparations that the country is making for next year’s general election.
“In the course of that meeting, the national chairman responded to a couple of questions asked by the delegation and one of them had to do with the state of preparedness of the country, the party and INEC to conduct next year’s election.
“In his response to one of those questions especially on the one regarding the preparedness for the election, the national chairman noted with respect to the deployment of new technologies that while INEC has taken these bold steps to put in place these technologies, he simply tasked INEC to ensure that they are able to bridge all of the gaps that may be created by both electricity and telecommunication challenges especially in outlying voting districts of the country. I was in the meeting and I heard the context in which he was speaking but unfortunately, this morning we read reports that the national chairman was averse to deployment of BVAS and IReV. That was a gross misstatement of what the national chairman said.”
In a follow up statement to back the position of the party, Morka said “media reports that Chairman Adamu kicked against INEC’s decision to deploy BVAS and electronic transmission of results is patently false, and constitutes an unfair misrepresentation of the National Chairman’s comments.
“To be clear, Chairman Adamu did not kick against the deployment of BVAS or electronic transmission of results as erroneously reported by sections of the media.
“The APC administration of President Muhammadu Buhari midwived the successful reform of the Electoral Act, the introduction of BVAS among other technological innovations, and has superintended the conduct of credible, free, fair and transparent elections in Edo, Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states.
“Our party and government remain committed to the highest levels of electoral transparency and democratic consolidation in our country.”