Publisher of CrossRiverWatch, Agba Jalingo claims Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines are being moved into the Calabar state Government House.
No evidence has been made available that BVAS machines are being moved into the Government House in Calabar.
However, the police and Independent National Electoral Commission said the news is being investigated. The electoral body has also urged the public to “disregard” the news.
INEC has decried the threat fake news poses to the conduct of free and fair elections in 2023.
One such piece of “news” making the rounds on social media is that some BVAS machines have been moved into Government House (or Governor lodge) in Calabar, Cross Rivers state. The news has further created tension and suspicion of electoral malpractice in the state.
The Government House is inhabited by the state governor, Benedict Ayade of the All Progressives Congress – the ruling party in the state.
Some Nigerians who commented under the post criticized the claim.
Andrea Ekeng Inyang said, “Childish allegation and the few gullible on your list will buy this and take it seriously.
“So in the cover of darkness, you recognised BVAS machines?
“Ukandi Agba, BVAS machines in the wrong hands is just a piece of useless item. Know this and know peace.”
Another user, Simon Idiku quickly alerted stakeholders to ensure the machine reads correctly during voting.
He said, “All party agents and observers should insist the configuration is reading 000000 before commencement of voting.”
Some commenters on the other hand, suggested that BVAS machines could be manipulated, and alleged that Ayade is on “desperate move to win election at all cost”.
FactCheckElections findings show that Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to Hon. Chairman of INEC, Yakubu Mahmood has urged the public to “disregard this orchestrated effort to malign the Independent National Electoral Commission.”
No “BVAS machines” are being moved into any governor’s lodge. The public should disregard this orchestrated effort to malign the Independent National Electoral Commission.#SayNoToFakeNews pic.twitter.com/S7wkX7qzjt
— Rotimi L Oyekanmi (@rot1930) January 21, 2023
“#SayNoToFakeNews”, Oyekanmi posted on his Twitter page.
The electoral body as well as the Commissioner of police in Cross River, CP Balarabe Sule have called for calm while describing people sharing the claim as “an enemy of the progress of Cross River state generally.”
They also vowed to carry out an investigation.
INEC’s Head of Department, Voters Education and Publicity, Mrs Anthonia Nwobi, assured that the commission would not be distracted from its mandate to ensure credible elections.
FactCheckElections can conclude that there is no evidence that BVAS machines are being moved into the Government House in Calabar.