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  • What INEC BVAS Should Have Done And Nigerians Will Love It

    inec bvas.jpg

    By Chinedu Hardy Nwadike 

    Most Nigerians are angry today because of the impact of the INEC's Bimodal Voter Accreditation System BVAS.

    The device was so hyped by INEC that even some Nigerians thought God himself would be transmitting the results to INEC headquarters.

    BVAS started trending on election day, just as it did at the National Assembly just because some politicians thought it would be difficult for Nigeria to use such a complicated device.

    Again that was when the issue started. I think most of these politicians knew what they were doing when they were apparently fighting INEC shadows to make Nigerians think there was something serious coming, but at the end of the day, I ended up on the list of dumb Nigeria.

    We missed the ‘ACCREDITATION in the name

    Our secret society nature got us here because no one actually explained these things properly to Nigerians.

    We had all thought that INEC had brought one device that would eliminate a lot of paper collation, but that was never the case because the device is actually called Bimodal Voter Accreditation System -  emphasis on accreditation.

    It was simply supposed to accredit and that was, the transmission function to INEC IReV was never too important as we have come to see. 

    Who got accredited and who voted is not important as long as the result tallies with the actual number of accredited voters. This is the same as when the result sheet was uploaded.

    Why upload paper and still write on paper?

    BVAS ended up being a case of using an analogue solution to solve a digital problem. I even got tired of downloading documents on my phone.

    Do we deserve this kind of stress? The answer is no, but INEC chose that option even when Nigeria is blessed with a countless number of programmers who can do better.

    That brings us to the joke because BVAS is actually an android version of what used to be with a slight upgrade.

    As someone who can create a simple data collation form on the internet, I think the complication created by INEC in the BVAS is not necessary. The back end for Presiding Officers would have been simpler and more efficient.

    It would have been easier with a simple field stating the election (Presidential or just whatever); the state; Local Government Area; Ward and lastly Pooling Unit.

    The total number of registered voters in the pooling unit should not be editable and same with the number of accredited voters which should automatically add up as electorates are being accredited. 

    Should we insist on paper ballots, the number of votes will be entered for each party alongside the name of the Presiding Officer.

    Signatures and the result sheets will also be applauded. After clear verification by Party agents, the PO will submit the result with a one time password to the server.

    The total number of valid votes will be calculated automatically from votes added to political parties, while the remaining will go to invalid votes. These two fields will not be editable. 

    It can stay in cache where there is no internet connection, but can never be edited once submitted.


    How to avoid paper collation

    It is still a big shame that we see papers on National Televisions and funny again that excel sheets are seen as well.

    The results submitted by the Presiding Officers are supposed to be arranged in a database that can be exported  as comma-separated values CSV or excel sheet. 

    INEC can have an uneditable backend where these results can be sorted by polling units, wards, LGA, party, etc at the state or local government headquarters.

    The printout or what should have been displayed on National TV should simply be a kind of data display interphase, while the public will be able to see the same in a different format or interphase.

    Nigeria cannot be this dumb

    Smart people and organizations around the world actually do nothing but apply smart solutions in their operations, but we have chosen to fail again.

    It is funny to see that calculators are being pressed on our national televisions and that individuals who have been with results for days come on air to see that they have calculated rubbish.

    We can do better than this because we have a good number of smart people but the political class believe that if we do better they will be forgotten.

    It is showing in many locations as the phrase ‘deliver your pooling unit’ will soon go extinct because no single person owns the unit, but it belongs to the people.

    Simple processes like this can restore confidence in our electoral system, but it all lies on INEC and members of the National Assembly who might not want ideas like this to see the light of the day.

    My name is Chinedu Hardy Nwadike, I am a media and tech consultant, writing from Owerri, Imo State.

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