Political experts and analysts have faulted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the alleged poor handling of its election results portal, the IRev.
According to them, the shoddy handling of the system, which is supposed to drive transparency of the entire electoral process through immediate uploading of results from polling units, has led to agitations and the spread of fake results.
Speaking on a live TV program monitored by Nairametrics, the CEO of BudgiT, Mr Seun Onigbinde, said the Commission has demonstrated laxity in the management of the portal. According to him, with the huge investments in the elections, Nigerians deserve better.
Also speaking, the Head of Research at the Act for Positive Transformation Initiative (APTI), Kolawole Johnson, said the INEC must do everything possible to make up for the lapses witnessed on the IReV portal to restore the integrity of the elections.
According to him, people are bandying different fake results on social media because of the slow pace of uploads on the IReV portal that was supposed to be the source of authentic results.
Technology appraisal: While noting that INEC has to call technology experts to appraise what it is doing with our platform, Onigbinde said:
- “I feel there’s a skewed personnel issue here. I’m not saying government agencies have the best capabilities in technology. Let’s be honest.
- “So, if they need to get experts to sit down with them, and dimension the system, there is no transparency, and there is no foolproof, they should do it. Because the whole issue is this: there is an understanding that after the whole polling unit is done, people just upload, which is supposed to be simple.”
Need for more communication: On his part, Johnson said the INEC will need to communicate more to reassure Nigerians how it is addressing the hitches with IReV.
- “First, INEC needs to communicate more with the people. You (INEC) said you’ve been working on the IReV since yesterday, which is 24 hours after the elections. Is it that we are not having enough manpower there to get this to work? I mean, if you’re trying to resolve this as of yesterday, we must have gone far by now in resolving this,” he said.
- INEC in a statement released yesterday said it was aware of challenges with the results viewing Portal (IReV), adding that it had been “relatively slow and unsteady.”
The Commission regrets this setback, especially because of the importance of IReV in our results management process. The problem is due to technical hitches related to scaling up the IReV from a platform for managing off-season, State elections, to one for managing nationwide general elections. It is indeed not unusual for glitches to occur and be corrected in such situations.
- Consequently, the Commission wishes to assure Nigerians that the challenges are not due to any intrusion or sabotage of our systems and that the IReV remains well-secured. Our technical team is working assiduously to solve all the outstanding problems, and users of the IReV would have noticed improvements since last night,” the Commission stated in the statement signed by Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee.
In my honest opinion, I believe that such glitches were deliberate in order to allow result manipulation. What about some polling units where INEC officials were alleged to have stoutly refused to upload their results, on the grounds that they were instructed not to do so yet. Some of these political analysts should stop being frugal with words because it seems to achieve nothing other than encouraging those workers subverting the electoral process to hide behind network glitches, and I don’t think that’s fair to Nigerians who have taken the pains to go out and vote.