- The conduct of the just concluded gubernatorial polls in Osun and Ekiti states has been greeted with inconsistencies
- A report by Yiaga Africa revealed that there were disparities in the electronic transmission of results at the gubernatorial polls
- However, the election observer group has urged INEC to step up and learn from its shortcomings ahead of the 2023 polls
FCT, Abuja - Foremost election observer group, YIAGA Africa has unveiled its findings on the electronic transmission of results in the 2022 gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun states respectively.
The gubernatorial elections in the southwest states used the election result analysis dashboard (ERAD), an innovative technological tool designed to promote transparency of election results and counter electoral fraud.
Samson Itodo, the executive director of YIAGA Africa on Friday, September 9 launched the findings during a stakeholders’ conference at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja.
The findings gotten from the use of the election result analysis dashboard (ERAD) revealed that there was an optimal functionality of the IReV portal.
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As gathered by Legit.ng regional correspondent who was present at the conference, Itodo said electorates in Ekiti state were able to access the portal seamlessly but noted that the portal began to have hitches at mid-day during the election exercise and that Password recovery for existing users performed poorly as email verification took long hours.
"While the server used for the upload of results from the BVAS functioned with considerable speed due to adequate bandwidth on the server, the ERAD findings show that the Amazon Web Services (AWS) server used for the storage of polling unit results had limited bandwidth to handle the multiple requests on election day."
Itodo in his presentation pointed out issues of incorrect upload of election forms, the poor image quality of election results, and unstamped and unsigned result sheets.
While making reference to occurrence in Ekiti, Itodo said:
"In the Ekiti election, eighty-eight (88) result sheets were not entered into the ERAD database due to issues that disabled data entry.
Similarly, eighty-seven (87) results were not processed on the ERAD in the Osun election"
Yiaga Africa's recommendations to INEC
However, Yiaga Africa urged the independent national electoral commissions (INEC) to carry out some major reforms by training polling unit officials, with a special focus on the result transmission, ballot paper accounting as well as the capturing of polling unit results using the BVAS.
Itodo said there is a need for the electoral body to electronically transmit and publish the number of accredited voters on the IReV as stipulated in Section 64(4) (5)(6) of the Electoral Act 2022.
"INEC should increase the Amazon Web Services (AWS) resources for storing the form EC8A or polling unit results in the AWS server.
"Increasing the bandwidth, RAM size, and storage capacity of the server to improve the processing power of the IReV portal and ensure public access to results uploaded on the portal."
We'll not rest on our oars - INEC chairman
Meanwhile, the chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu who was also present at the event says INEC will not rest until it gets a perfect electoral process.
He admitted that the commission faced numerous challenges during the gubernatorial elections in Osun and Ekiti states.
Prof. Yakubu said:
"The commission is not resting on its oars, knowing that it must remain several steps ahead of those who seek to undermine the system. The importance of IReV to the transparency of result management is obvious.
"I call on all stakeholders to support the Commission to continue to work to improve IReV and the entire result management system towards the 2023 General Election, which will be far more extensive than what we have done so far."
2023: Why elections may not hold in southeast areas - INEC
In another development, INEC has revealed that the 2023 general elections will not hold in about three local government areas of Imo state.
The three local government areas currently do not have INEC offices because criminals have razed them.
According to the electoral umpire during a stakeholder's meeting, the local government areas are Orlu, Orsu, and Njaaba.