After decades of adapting to a Bring Your Own Infrastructure (BYOI) model across Nigeria—providing your own water, electricity and security—Nigerians have now begun collating their own election results.
Since the presidential election of February 25th, there have been multiple efforts to gather and collate the results from polling units across the country. This DIY election counting is happening because some Nigerians, like the Labour Party and the PDP, do not trust the results as declared by INEC.
It's now Bring Your Own Collation.
The new process employed by INEC for the 2023 General Elections, anchored on the Bi-Modal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV), was hinged on using technology to increase transparency, reduce electoral manipulation and increase trust in the electoral process.
Unfortunately, like the elections that have come before it, the major candidates are now in court, disputing the validity of the results. It reminds us that people, not technology, confer legitimacy on a process. We are still working towards a Nigeria where registering to vote, casting and counting ballots are routine processes we can all trust.
However, while we wait for such a time, we must engage with the process and the institutions currently in charge, imperfect as they are. With many people hanging on his every word, Peter Obi did just that when he held a press conference on March 2nd to say he would go to court. “We won the election, and we will prove it to Nigerians”, he said.
There is a