The just-concluded Nigerian presidential election kept a lot of citizens on their toes, especially given that this process will determine who gets to be the nation’s leader for the next four years.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is the official body in charge of elections, and to make this year’s election better, they launched several technologies like the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV), which most people had not heard about until the recent election.
INEC explained IReV as an online web portal where polling unit-level results are uploaded to allow citizens to view election results as they are compiled and recorded at the polling unit upon the conclusion of voting at an election.
After elections have been conducted in a polling unit, the polling unit official will take a picture of the result sheet using the BVAS, the photo will be uploaded immediately for the public to view the results. As the election progresses, the portal accommodates new and updated result sheets.
During the elections, a lot of setbacks were encountered during the uploading of the results. Some election officials failed to upload the results from their polling units due to low batteries and other technical mishaps, making the results in the IReV incomplete, which made many Nigerians who had been made promises discouraged.
Every technology has some glitches attached to it, but INEC seemed not to have prepared for such glitches, therefore confusing citizens who lodged on the results portal only to see incomplete results and pictures of other citizens, making them ask, “What happened to the IReV?”
INEC blamed this delay in uploading results and other glitches experienced on the IReV on technical issues related to the scaling up of the portal from the polling unit up to the national level. INEC’s national commissioner, Festus Okoye, said that challenges are not due to any intrusion or sabotage to their system, the portal remains secure as the technical team does well to fix all glitches while ensuring that these do not happen in the gubernatorial elections. He also stated in the press release, “We also wish to assure Nigerians that results from the polling units, copies of which were issued to political parties, are safe on both the BVAS and the IReV portals.”
The IReV was supposed to be a platform that encouraged transparency but instead became a platform of uncertainty. When the IReV was launched, the INEC chairman assured Nigerians that in the event of discrepancies, the uploaded results would be the only acceptable results by INEC it seems that reverse was the case since manual results were adopted to determine the winners of the elections.
With all the issues raised by citizens and polling units during the elections, it is safe to say that the IReV is not a finished product and still needs to be extensively worked on again. What is your opinion on the IReV and how it played out in the elections? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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