The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, says the transfer of a former Director of ICT, has nothing to do with glitches experienced with the uploading of the February 25 presidential and National Assembly election results.
The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, stated this on Thursday in Abuja in response to insinuations that the transfer of INEC’s former Director of ICT, Chidi Nwafor, caused the glitches experienced with the INEC Result Viewing Portal, IReV, in the Feb. 25 presidential election.
Mr Oyekanmi said such insinuation was nothing but an attempt to mislead the public.
“First, the IReV and Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) are two separate entities, and they are independent of each other.
“The relationship between the two is that the BVAS is used to transmit the picture of Form EC8A, which is the Polling Unit Result Sheet in PDF format, as well as the Voters’ Accreditation Data to the IREV.
“Therefore, the glitches suffered by the IReV for some hours on Feb. 25 could not have affected the functionality of the BVAS, which in any case, performed its duty excellently on election day.
“There’s also a provision for the BVAS to transmit the Polling Unit (PU) results in offline mode if there is no network at the polling unit at the time of the activity.”
Mr Oyekanmi said that the glitches could still have occurred even if the former ICT Director was still in charge.
“Recently, Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter had serious glitches that prevented many people, including me, from using those applications for many hours.
“But eventually, the respective companies surmounted the challenges.
“Now, would you say that the glitches occurred just because one Engineer resigned from or was transferred within the company? Of course not.”
Mr Oyekanmi said while the former ICT Director is indeed a respected, brilliant employee who played his role satisfactorily, there were equally other staff members within the Commission that could effectively play his former role.”
Mr Oyekanmi also refuted the claims that the transfer of the former director to another State as Administrative Secretary was a demotion.
“Again, contrary to this impression that the position of administrative secretary is a demotion, I would say that it is an elevation.
“The administrative Secretary at our State office is the most senior staff there, second only to the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC).
“It’s like the role of a permanent secretary in a federal parastatal.
“When the REC is not around, the administrative secretary becomes an acting Rec. That’s how important the position is,” he said.
Mr Oyekanmi also said that contrary to the claim that BVAS was an invention of Nwafor or any single staff member of the commission, the device was rather the commission’s idea and invention, just as the now rested Smart Card Reader (SCR).
“Having decided to invent the BVAS, the commission gave the assignment to the most relevant department within the commission, namely the ICT, to bring the idea into fruition.
“The ICT Department is populated by a sizable number of brilliant Engineers and IT experts, who worked very hard as a team for several months to successfully actualize the commission’s dream.
“After completing the assignment of designing the BVAS, the ICT Department notified the commission.
“Therefore, it is improper to insinuate that a former director of ICT or any other staff for that matter single-handedly designed the BVAS.”
Mr Oyekanmi said if anyone was to be praised for the invention, it would be the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on whose table buck stops and the commission that conceived the innovation in the first place.