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Finally INEC opens up on why IReV failed during 2023 presidential election

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By Emmanuel Agaji

Nigeria’s electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has finally explained why the result viewing portal (IReV) failed during the February 2023 presidential election.

The election was won by Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party came second while Peter Obi of the Labour Party came third.

As reported by The Cable on Friday, the electoral umpire gave the explanation in a comprehensive post-mortem report on the 2023 general election released on the first anniversary of the election

The INEC report said the “HTTP error” its server returned during the presidential election was because of a configuration bug which was discovered after the presiding officers at the polling units could only upload the results of the National Assembly elections.

“In configuring and mapping the election results for the presidential and NASS elections,” the report sighted by The Cable reads, “the Commission created Four Hundred and Seventy (470) election types consisting of one presidential constituency covering the entire country, 109 Senatorial Districts and 360 Federal Constituencies.”

The report further noted, “Each Senatorial District and Federal Constituency election on the database was mapped to their respective States.”

It, however, noted that the presidential election result “is a single, countrywide constituency and therefore, does not belong to any one State.

“Consequently, while the uploads for the NASS elections succeeded as the application was able to identify the respective State and build the folder hierarchy for the results organization process for the election, attempts to upload the presidential election results sheets, which does not belong to or mapped to any State on the database, failed.

“Instead, it returned a HTTP server error response. This failure is attributable to the inability of the application to create and build a folder structure to organize the uploaded images of the result sheets of the presidential election.”

Narrating the IReV problem, the INEC in its report, said it was first reported at 4 pm on Election Day and was partially resolved in four hours.

The commission admitted that it was a key challenge that “impacted on the public perception” of the election and elicited “widespread commentary across the country”.

INEC said, “To begin with, it is important to note that the IReV portal is one of the most significant innovations introduced by the Commission prior to the 2023 General Election to promote the integrity and transparency of the electoral process. As a public-facing website, the IReV portal shows the images of the original Polling Unit result sheets as recorded in Form EC8A.

“The operational methodology and the concept behind the upload of results to the IReV for public viewing is quite simple. At the end of polls, Polling Unit results (Form EC8As) are scanned and uploaded to the IReV by the Presiding Officer(s). These results are then available for viewing to the public and all stakeholders.

“The system, which was first deployed during Nasarawa Central State Constituency bye-election in August 2020 and tested in 105 subsequent elections, including three (3) off-cycle governorship elections, has tremendously improved public confidence in the integrity and transparency of the Commission’s result management process.

“The challenge of uploading the PU presidential election results on the IReV after the presidential and NASS elections on 25th February 2023 was unique. As voting ended across the country and POs began the process of uploading the images of the PU result sheets of the elections for the various constituencies around 4:00pm, the Commission began to receive reports that attempts to upload presidential election result sheets was failing.

“Following these reports, the Commission immediately engaged with its field officials for details in order to understand, and trace the origin, source, scale and magnitude of the problem across the result management ecosystem to devise appropriate solutions.

“In the troubleshooting process, it was established that there was no issue in uploading the PU result sheets of the Senate and House of Representatives elections through the Election Result Modules. However, there was a problem with uploading the presidential election results to the system.

“Attempts to upload the results were generating internal server errors, which refer to a significant impairment that usually originate from within an application due to problems relating to configuration, permissions, or failure to create or access application resources correctly.

“Further interrogation of the Election Result Modules indicated that the system is encountering an unexpected configuration problem in mapping the presidential election results uploaded into the system to the participating Polling Units.

“Due to the complex, sensitive and critical nature of the systems and the real potential for malicious cyberattacks, the Commission immediately put in place several strict security and audit control measures to prevent any unfettered or elevated access to the Result Upload System.”

The commission said after identifying the source of the problem, it quickly created and deployed “hotfixes” — software updates for fixing a bug or any vulnerabilities in a system.

The deployed hotfixes eventually resolved the HTTP error on the system “and the first presidential election result sheet was successfully uploaded at 8.55 pm on the 25th of February 2023,” it said.

While rating itself high, INEC stated in the report.

“Yet, the 2023 General Election produced the most diverse outcome in recent Nigerian electoral history in terms of party representation in executive and legislative elections nationwide. Thus, four (4) political parties produced State Governors, seven (7) secured Senatorial seats, eight (8) won federal constituencies and nine (9) in State seats,” the report said.

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Interior Minister denies announcing Gov Aiyedatiwa as Tinubu’s preferred candidate

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The Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has disassociated himself from a report that President Bola Tinubu picked Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State as his preferred candidate for the Nov.16 Governorship election in the state.

A statement issued by Babatunde Alao, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Minister, on Wednesday, also described as false the purported appointment of the minister as leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ondo State.

Alao, who was reacting to the social media publication, described the report as baseless and fictitious.

“Therefore, Tunji-Ojo completely disassociates and distances himself from the purported appointment as it holds no truth whatsoever,” he said.

The media aide added that there was no meeting held in Abuja between the minister and APC Chairmen and leaders from the 18 local government areas of Ondo State, as alleged in the article.

“The minister is aware that the party’s governorship primary election is days away, and he has advised aspirants to embrace the spirit of love and sportsmanship,” Alao said.

According to him, the President, as the father of the nation and as the leader of the party, is a democrat whose interest is always to promote unity and peace.

“Therefore, he would not want to involve himself in any action that would undermine that,” he said.

The special adviser urged the public to disregard the misinformation contained in the viral news article and to always rely on credible sources for accurate information.

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Edo APC Chairman To Shaibu: You Were Loyal Even To Detriment Of People You Started With

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“You are somebody who stood out. The price you paid is the price of loyalty, you were loyal even to the detriment of people you started with, you paid that price.”

These were the words of Jaret Tenebe, the acting chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, in Edo State when he paid a solidarity visit to the impeached deputy governor of the state, Philip Shaibu in his Abuja residence on Wednesday.

In a video clip that has been widely circulated online, Tenebe in the video, described Shaibu as a strong man, declaring that he was in the impeached deputy governor’s residence to encourage him to pursue his matter in the court to a reasonable conclusion.

Tenebe, who likened what happened to Shaibu to that of Jesus Christ, adding: “He died for our sins, what has happened is a replica of what Jesus Christ did for humanity.”

“Today, they have removed you as the deputy governor but we still regard you as the deputy governor, it is the price that you have paid to ensure that Obaseki and his semblance are rooted out of Edo State, and I can tell you that we will not allow you walk alone, we are with you in spirit.

“You are a strong man, and I am here as the chairman of APC in Edo State, and an Uzairue indigene, we both come from the same place. We should be strong, and I implore you to continue to pursue this matter in court and we will be with you all through and God is your strength.

“When one door is closed many more are opened, and many are opened for you from today. That is what the detractors don’t know, be strong and we will match on together.”

In his response, Shaibu who said his removal would not stand the test of time, added that the whole exercise was because of the September 21 governorship election in the state.

Shaibu, who promised loyalty to the acting chairman, added: “We have shared a lot of things both good and bad together. I am deeply humbled and happy that even this situation has brought us together as one that we are. You are one person that I have always admired, someone that I grew up with.

“The person that actually separated us has also united us and that is the beauty of what has happened. I want to assure you that as we move on, just like you said, this whole thing happened between the Lent and Ramadan season, and the lessons of Lent and Ramadan are obvious.

“I am not ready to change my attitude, I am ready to be a friend and loyal friend and partner.

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TRENDING VIDEO! Watch moment Edo new deputy gov celebrates his emergence

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It’s time for Edo new deputy governor, Marvelous Godwins to celebrate as captured in a trending video online.

Naijablitznews reports that Marvelous Godwins was eventually picked as deputy to Godwin Obaseki on Monday after the Edo House of Assembly impeached Phillip Shaibu.

Watch clip below 👇

Click to watch 

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