By Marcus Ikechukwu
A coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) has alleged a grand plot to force the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stop the electronic transmission of the 2023 general elections.
The allegation from the opposition and other concerned Nigerians also revealed that plans were being hatched to pressure the electoral Commission to deactivate the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS) from the server, including stirring a possible change in leadership of INEC.
Ugo Ikenga Ugochinyere, the spokesman of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), while addressing a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, alleged that “there was immense pressure on the leadership of INEC to deactivate the BIVAS from the server, which pressure has been resisted by INEC hence the plot by the ruling party’s agents led by some governors to commence the plot to cause a leadership change in the electoral management body.
The plan is also being orchestrated so that it will consume top officials, including the Chairman and the few National Commissioners, who are still insisting on the use of the BIVAS.”
The CSOs opposed to the plans have resolved to petition the United Kingdom High Commission and the United States Embassy and alert them of the alleged new conspiracy, which they said threatens the Nigerian electoral process and regional stability.
According to the groups, the International community will be urged to keep vigilant eyes on the process as development partners and ensure there is adequate vigilance and support insisting that the right things are done in compliance with extant laws.
One of the groups, the CUPP, said it intended to immediately approach the court to seek judicial redress to ensure the electoral process is not derailed.
“The suit, when filed, will restrain the Federal Government, DSS, Nigeria Police, National Assembly, ICPC, CCB, EFCC, CCT, and Attorney General of the Federation, from stopping the use of BIVAS, deactivating BIVAS from the INEC Server, removing of the INEC Chairman, arresting or using an exparte injunction to suspend him, suspending him from office under any guise or any form of detention to remove him from acting as INEC Chairman.”
It would be recalled that the CUPP had a few weeks ago also uncovered an alleged compromise of the voters’ registration exercise in some All Progressives Congress (APC) controlled states in a secret illegal operation code-named Omuma magic, which the opposition insisted that those behind the mafia operation should be arrested and prosecuted.
“The BIVAS is an electronic machine that will be used to electronically accredit all voters for the 2023 general election and also be used to transmit election results from the Polling Units direct to the INEC central server.
“The BVAS had been deployed in the last three cycle governorship elections in Anambra, Ekiti, and Osun states and has been observed to have generally improved the credibility of the elections as the perennial problems associated with snatching of result sheets and changing of results at collation centres has been solved,” the CUPP spokesman explained.