Four weeks to the general election, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has resolved to conduct mock accreditation on Saturday, February 4, 2023, in 436 polling units nationwide.
This, according to the electoral body, was to test the functionality of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, before the full deployment on election day.
INEC National Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made this known Friday at a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, held at the national headquarters of the commission in Abuja.
He said the purpose of the meeting was to put the finishing touches to the preparations for the 2023 general election.
Yakubu further revealed that 12 polling units had been designated in each state of the federation and four in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, on the equality of the country’s 109 senatorial districts for the exercise.
Yakubu said: “As you are already aware, the Commission has taken delivery of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines for the election. We have also dutifully tested each machine in our offices nationwide to ensure its functionality.
“The next step is to conduct field tests across the country involving actual voters. For this reason, and in readiness for nationwide deployment, the Commission is conducting a mock accreditation of voters similar to what was done ahead of the recent Ekiti and Osun State Governorship elections.”
He said a comprehensive list of the polling units, including their names and PU Code numbers, as well as their distribution by State, Senatorial District, Local Government and Registration Area (Ward), would be uploaded on the Commission’s website.
The chairman said at the end of the exercise, the 436 BVAS machines involved would be reconfigured before they are deployed for the General Election.
He appealed to registered voters in the affected polling units to appear on the scheduled date with their PVCs for the mock exercise.
Yakubu noted that doing so would help to reassure the public of the robustness of the system and to strengthen our processes ahead of the general election.
He said civil society organisations, the media and the general public are welcome to observe the process.