The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the creation of 56,872 additional polling Units bringing the number across the country to 176,846 units.
INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu disclosed this during the commission’s regular meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs), stating that the action was the product of the long drawn consultation and fieldwork leading to the conversation of 56,563 voting points and 309 voting point settlements to polling Units.
Besides, INEC also disclosed that it has taken decision to relocate about 749 polling Units hitherto sited in private residences, Churches , Palaces and Mosques, shrines and other inappropriate locations .
Prof Yakubu said the decision was taken in line with the commission’s policy not to locate polling Units in places that encumber voter’s access to polling Units
He said “The Commission is glad to report that 25 years since the current Polling Units were created in 1996, the hard nut is finally and successfully cracked after several unsuccessful attempts. Nigeria now has 176,846 full-fledged Polling Units.
“Similarly, after consultation with stakeholders, the Commission has successfully removed 749 Polling Units from inappropriate locations to appropriate public facilities or open spaces in line with our policy to guarantee unencumbered access to Polling Units for all voters.
The INEC Chairman also presented state by state distribution of the polling Units in 37 volumes .
Of the polling Units that were relocated, he said “232 were removed from private properties, 145 royal palaces, 6 Mosques, 21 Churches and 9 Shrines”, while the remaining 336 Polling Units were “relocated for various reasons which include distance, difficult terrain, congestion, communal conflict, new settlements and general insecurity”.
With the development, Prof Mahmood Yakubu said there would be no need for voting points in the coming governorship election in Anambra State and elsewhere in the country where election is taking place.
7. However, in view of the advanced preparations already made by the Commission, four pending bye-elections in Kaduna, Jigawa and Plateau States will be the last to be conducted using a combination of Polling Units and Voting Points. Two of these elections in Sabon Gari State Constituency in Kaduna State and Gwaram Federal Constituency in Jigawa State are holding this weekend while the Commission awaits the formal declaration of vacancies by the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives in respect of Lere Federal Constituency of Kaduna State and Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency of Plateau State. For subsequent elections, beginning from the Anambra State Governorship election holding on 6th November 2021, there will be no Voting Points any more in Nigeria.
He sent the application of the commission to stakeholders whose cooperation,he said resulted in the smooth creation of the polling Units.