NATIONAL Voters Drive Coalition (NVDC) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to address lapses recorded in the Feb. 25 elections and guarantee functionality and effectiveness of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).
The Coalition is made up of the African Primary Healthcare Foundation (APHF), Nigerian Physicians Advocacy Group (NPAG), The Compatriots ,Ready to Lead Africa (RTLA), Progressives Abia Youths (PAY) and Shift Nigeria .
Other supporting groups include Connected Development (CODE) and Accountability Lab.
Mr Godbless Otubure, President, Ready to Lead Africa, who made the call this at a news conference in Abuja, also urged INEC to ensure results were uploaded on INEC Result Viewing portal (IReV).
“Having acknowledged the importance of technology in our electoral system, we call on INEC to fully utilise the BVAS in accreditation and transmission and ensure professional conduct of its staff in organisation of the Governorship and House of Assembly elections.
“INEC staff should endeavour to arrive at the polling units ahead of time for an on time start,” he said.
Otubure said that the Feb. 25 election was widely anticipated given the unprecedented number of major contenders and the promise of more transparency with the BVAS.
A member of NVDC, Ekejimba Kingsley, said the the coalition applaud the work of INEC.
Ekejimba, however, said the group was not blinded to the logistical challenges such as delayed arrival of INEC staff in over 75 PUs, lack of preparedness such that electorate had to purchase inks and markers for INEC officials.
“Failure of Presiding Officers to upload PU results to BVAS, delay in transmission of PU results to INEC Result Viewing Portal.
“We hope that there have been lessons learnt and that necessary steps are in place to avoid a repeat of logistical shortcomings,” he said.
Ekejimba called on Nigerians to come out en mass to vote and monitor their votes to avoid result manipulation and to elect leaders that would be more accountable to the people regardless of age, gender, ethnicity among others .
He also appealed to security agencies saddled with the responsibility of ensuring a hitch free election to discharge their duties with diligence and honour.
Mr Hamzat Lawal, Chief Executive, CODE, said that the March 18 elections had given Nigerians another opportunity to decide who would lead them at the state level, urging citizens to make the most of it and make the elections a reflection of their wishes.
“We must not give up on this key assignment Go out on election day ,cast your votes and stay peacefully ,let us all be part of rebuilding our nation,” he said.
Ms Chiamaka Jonathan, Program Manager, Ready to Lead Africa (RLA), urged citizens to come en mass to excercise their civic rights adding that their votes would count.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NVDC is a non-partisan citizen-led Coalition created to address voter apathy in Nigeria. (NAN)