NSA, DSS, EFCC, others endorse INEC proposal to expand Polling Units

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) move to expand voters access to Polling Units in the country got a boost on Wednesday as various security agencies, including the anti-graft Commission, endorsed the proposal.

At the end of its interactive session with heads of the security agencies tagged, Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), they resolved that “given the current state of voter access to Polling Units in Nigeria, expanding access to Polling Units is fundamental and critical to the exercise of the right to vote and to the conduct of free, fair, credible and safe elections.”

The ICCES also backed ” the INEC proposal of converting the existing and well-known Voting Points and Voting Point Settlements into full-fledged Polling Units as a practical and realistic way to expand Voter access to Polling Units.”

The communique which was released to newsmen by Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education further read in part: “That given the current state of voter access to Polling Units in Nigeria, expanding access to Polling Units is fundamental and critical to the exercise of the right to vote and to the conduct of free, fair, credible and safe elections.

“That it is important and necessary to widely consult with all electoral stakeholders to develop a consensus and build trust in expanding Voter access to Polling Units.

“That ICCES supports the INEC proposal of converting the existing and well-known Voting Points and Voting Point Settlements into full-fledged Polling Units as a practical and realistic way to expand Voter access to Polling Units.

“That ICCES will collaborate with the Commission in achieving this objective and in promoting measures towards a routinized and seamless adjustment for expanding Voter Access to Polling Units as the need arises in the future.

“That in expanding Voters access to Polling Units, due attention should be paid to the location of the proposed Polling Units in suitable, accessible, secure and conducive environments for voting.

“That all stakeholders should support INEC’s efforts to expand voter access to Polling Units and avoid politicizing the issues involved.”

At the meeting co-chaired by the Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu and the representative of the National Security Adviser, Mr Sanusi Galadima were representatives of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Federal Roads Safety Corps, Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, amongst others.

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