We have so far received 9,777 requests for additional polling units ― INEC Chairman

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, has said as of  February 15, 2021, there are 9,777 requests for additional polling units in the country.

He made this known while on a visit to the headquarters of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) in Kaduna, on Tuesday.

According to the INEC boss, the commission established 119,973 polling units in 1996, saying for 25 years we did not create additional polling units.

“Since 1999, the nation’s had conducted six general elections using the same polling units. The growing demands by Nigerians for additional polling units is increasing by the day.

“We did not ask them to forward there request but they did that unsolicited. In fact, there is one request we received from a person requesting about 800 polling units in his area.

The INEC Chairman disclosed that from October 2020 when the commission received 5,700 requests for additional polling units, the number of requests has skyrocketed to 4,077 in just four months.

“As of February 15, 2021, we have received 9,777 additional requests for polling units.

Yakubu maintained that the call for the creation of additional polling units is not confined to a particular section of the country but rather ‘everywhere section of the country are asking for more polling units.

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Explaining further, he said the ongoing consultations with critical stakeholders is to ensure that Nigerians understand why it has become necessary to have additional units.

He lamented that over the years the voter’s apathy to exercise their rights is dropping compared to Ghana in recent times.

The situation he noted was necessitated by certain factors like overcrowding, electoral violence, poor electoral service among others. Thus the reason behind the consultations.

“So far we have met with political parties, NGOs, security agencies, media, now with ACF. Going forward we will meet with the National Economic Council, brief the Federal Executive Council and National Council of States.

‘”From next week we will meet with the National Assembly, he declared

Responding, the National Chairman of the ACF, Audu Ogbeh, noted that from the presentation made by the commission’s Chairman the message is very clear.

Represented by the National Secretary, Murtala Aliyu, he said we should not politicise the issue and give Nigerians they want.

Ogbeh said ACF will reach out to the people of the region and educate them about it.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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