It is 51 days to the commencement of the 2023 general elections, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the arrival of the last batch of Bimodal Voter Accreditation (BVAS) machines. Brimming with enthusiasm about the arrival of the last batch of the machines, INEC in a statement by Barrister Festus Okoye, National Commissioner, and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee said the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu and other officials were at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport to receive the final consignment.
The statement noted that to facilitate smooth delivery of the devices, INEC created four airport hubs in Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt. “Over the last four months, several flights delivered the BVAS to the designated airports for movement to the states of the federation ahead of the elections. With the arrival of the last flight in Abuja yesterday, the Commission has now taken delivery of the required number of BVAS for all polling units in the country and extra machines in line with our contingency provision for all critical election materials.” INEC in the statement also expressed its thanks to Nigerians for supporting its quest for free, fair, and inclusive elections facilitated by technology.
However, as the Commission pats itself on the back for the smooth delivery of the BVAS machines, there is the pending task of ensuring as many registered voters as possible collect their PVCs in readiness for the polls. Although the staff of the Commission have been working round the clock to hand out the cards, the process has been dogged by hitches in several states. As reported by The Explainer, many of the Commission’s offices have been besieged by Nigerians bent on collecting their cards, but many have returned disappointed as they were told their cards are not ready for collection. Similarly, the Commission has also been bemoaning the reluctance of registered voters to pick up their PVCs, with millions remaining in the INEC offices several years after they were printed and made available for collection.