Hakeem Gbadamosi – Akure
Ahead of the February 25 presidential poll, mock accreditation exercise was conducted in six local government areas of Ondo on Saturday, as directed by National Headquarters of Independent National Electoral Commission INEC.
At Sacred Heart Primary School, Cathedral and St. Stephen Primary School, Ijomu, in Akure South Local Government Area of the state, the exercise which started around 9 am witnessed a relatively large turnout of residents.
The exercise was peaceful and seamless as INEC officials attended to residents with an average time per accreditation between 60 and 90 seconds.
The Head of Voter Education, Publicity, Gender and Civil Society Organisation of INEC in the state, Mrs.Olufunmike Segun-Osifeso, said the mock accreditation of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) was part of preparations for the conduct of the 2023 general elections.
Segun-Osifeso said the exercise was put together to technically evaluate and test run the device, saying the exercise would help to test the credibility of the BVAS, and the visibilities of both the hard and software of the machine.
The INEC, National Commissioner Supervising Ondo, Osun and Ekiti State, Prof. Kunle Ajayi, while assessing the exercise, expressed satisfaction with the exercise, saying it was part of commission’s readiness before the elections.
Ajayi, who visited two local governments, in Ondo and Akure said that the exercise had shown that people were ready for the February 25 and March 11 elections.
“All the places I visited today, the turnout is very huge and fantastic which means people are aware that election is coming up in the next 21 days.
“I can happily tell you that all the BVAS are working perfectly and our staff are ready as well and they had been series of training for the elections.
” I want to assure the electorates that nobody will stay on queue more than necessary because that is why the commission has divided some polling unit that has more than 1000 registered voters into two for the sake of efficiency,” he said.
Ajayi, who reiterated INEC’s commitment to conduct free, fair and credible elections across the country called on electorates not to entertain any fear about the activities of some hoodlums burning the commission’s offices in some parts of the country.
“It is unfortunate that some bad elements are trying to discourage INEC from conducting a fair and credible election.
“But I can assure you no matter what they do , we are ready. Fortunately for us all what they destroyed are not sensitives materials and is a thing we can replace within 24 hours,”
Meanwhile, the Civil society organisation in the state commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the BVAS mock exercise held in the state.
The State Chairman Civil Society Organisation, Franklin Oloniju, who lauded INEC for the mock exercise exhibited the readiness of the commission to carry out credible election in the country.
”With what I have seen concerning the BVAS capturing today which was done in less than 15 seconds, it has shown that BVAS is working.
”I think that the BVAS is working the way it should be. All the parameters needed on election day were displayed, even form EC3, security agents are seen.
“So, INEC deserves commendation and I can see that they are ready to conduct the forthcoming general election without any problem ln their part of the country, particularly on BVAS devices.
He, however, appealed to the people not to see the BVAS as a means to deprive them of exercising their fundamental rights.
”I will only advice electorates to endeavour and listen to what INEC officials will ask them to do for them to be captured or visible to the BVAS.”