ABUJA—Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday admitted plans to create 30,000 new polling units but denied that it was with the intention of compromising the integrity of the electoral process.
Responding to exclusive reports by Sunday Vanguard, of the disproportionate allocation of the new polling units, INEC said the creation of the new units was based on requests from the states.
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) More than two-thirds of the proposed 30,000 new units are allocated to the North and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, a development that has stirred concern of plots to favour a part of the country. Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, in a statement, yesterday, in Abuja, however, described as “false, misleading and unfounded,” the report of a plot to use the new units to rig the forthcoming election.
He said: “The fact of the matter is that in response to 3,789 requests so far received nationwide for the creation of new polling units, the commission directed its Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, to thoroughly assess and provide it with information on: “New settlements that are not served or inadequately served by existing polling units; areas with natural barriers that hinder access to existing polling units; areas that are distant from existing polling units; and areas affected by communal and other conflicts that make voting in existing polling units unsafe for voters.
“These reports are still being awaited from the states. It is these reports and the information they contain that will be collated and carefully examined by the commission in order to determine what changes may be necessary in the current polling units profile of the country.
“Therefore, the insinuation that the commission intends to create 30,000 new polling units to compromise the 2019 general elections is false, misleading, unfounded and should be disregarded.
“We assure the public that our decisions and actions shall always be guided by the provisions of the extant laws and our determination to respond to requests by Nigerians to serve them better. Even so, this will be done only after full consultation with all stakeholders.”