Abia Governorship election: Restoration of People’s mandate and the role of INEC.
By Peter Dibia ( Owerri)
Many would agree with me that election is a process of voting new leaders in a political setting. What happened at the 2023 general election obviously has not occured in the history of Nigeria politics. Many were declared winner by the INEC while others lost to their opponent. The 2023 general election can never be forgotten in a hurry due to the introduction of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) which is an electronic device designed to read Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and authenticate voters using the voters’ fingerprints in order to prove that they are eligible to vote at a particular polling unit.
According to the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, “When the commission introduced BVAS last year, the compact device was intended to achieve two objectives. First is the verification of the genuineness of the PVCs and the fingerprint or facial authentication of voters during accreditation.
Secondly, to replace the Z-pad for uploading the polling unit results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) in real-time on election day.”
BVAS usage entails either scanning the barcode/QR code on the PVC/Voter’s register or entering the last six digits of the Voter Identity Number or typing in the last name of the voter by the Assistant Presiding Officer (APO 1) to verify and authenticate the voter.
But many could not understand the process, because what was explained and the meaning of BVAS did not come to play at the just concluded February 25th and March 18th, 2023 general election.
Having given the alluded background, my inestimable readers, it behoves me to dwell intoto in my today’s write up which centers on the Abia State Governorship election and the restoration of people’s mandate.
Truth be told, the declaration of Dr. Alex Chioma Otti wouldn’t have been possible, if not for the like of Prof. Nnenna Otti the VIce Chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Owerri.
More often than not, to leave a woman to manage some sensitive position in this part of the world is always difficult, but today the narratives is changing gradually.
Today many all over the world are celebrating her not because she was the returning officer but because she never allowed herself to be used to mar the Abia State election through Electoral malpractices and money inducement.
Today I join the host of heavens and Nigerians at large to celebrate a woman of substance, who has written her name in gold. She will be remembered for life for upholding the virtue of integrity and honesty. An erudite professor and the vice chancellor of the prestigious Federal University of Technology Owerri FUTO, who by God’s Providence was the returning officer for Abia state 2023 governorship elections. She has received alot of commendations from good spirited individuals for declaring the real winner of Abia State governorship election without compromising her position.
For the sake of those who don’t know much about her, Prof Nnenna Oti hails from Ebonyi state and currently she is the First female Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State and second female Vice Chancellor from South East .
She has a Bachelor of Agriculture Degree in Soil Science, with a first class degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State.
After her first degree, She went further to acquire another degree, Masters in Social Science, with options in Soil Biology and Biochemistry, from the same university.
Oti also has a postgraduate diploma in Irrigation Engineering from the Catholic University, Leuven, in Belgium. She later bagged a doctorate in Soil and Environmental Conservation from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State.
Prof Oti has spent over 34 years in the academia, teaching, researching and carrying out administrative duties within and outside Nigeria.
She has also had practical experience working as a consultant to the government and private sector at various times in diverse capacities. Some of the places she worked include the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, the Anambra Imo River Basin Development Authority, and the National Biotechnology Development Agency.
She has written over 65 academic papers, 40 seminar and workshop papers, edited a handbook, given over 50 public lectures, and authored over 10 technical reports for the Federal Government.
Before she emerged as the first female vice-chancellor of FUTO, she was a three-time head of the school’s Department of Soil Science and Technology. She also chaired the Gender Policy Unit of the institution and was the dean of its post-graduate school.
She succeeded Prof Francis Eze, whose tenure expired in June 2021 and she is married to Dr Nnannaya Oti, and their marriage is blessed with three children.
Indeed Abia State is liberated and it is a new dawn , but your Excellency Governor- Elect, Dr. Alex Chioma Otti, the people have given you their mandate please do not disappoint their expectations. Use these great opportunities to tell your political enemies that actually you have been seeking for this position for the past 12 years to change the narratives in the state and move Abia State forward. God’s grace will be sufficient for you, Amen.