The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) has disclosed that voting will take place in Anambra State in 5,720 Polling Units in next Saturday governorship election in the South-East state.
Chairman of the Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu made the disclosure on Friday at a special Consultative meeting with the leadership of political parties expected to field candidates.
Yakubu said the Commission arrived at the statistics following the addition of 1,112 polling to the existing 4,608 locations in the state.
Professor Yakubu who expressed concern over the indifference of eligible voters to the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise to enable them to transfer to the new polling units most convenient for them, however attributed the lukewarm attitude to the scary security situation in the state.
He said:’The Anambra Governorship election will be the first that voting is taking place in polling units since the recent successful conversion of voting points arising from the expansion of voter access to polling units in Nigeria. An additional 1,112 polling units were established in Anambra State in addition to the existing 4,608 locations. This brings the total number of polling units in the State to 5,720. Voters were encouraged to seize the opportunity of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise to transfer to the new polling units most convenient for them. Many did not do so. This can be partly attributed to the security situation in the State which has affected the Commission’s pre-election outdoor activities, including voter education and sensitisation. Understandably, the voters have also been more circumspect in asking for a transfer to polling units.
‘At the same time, the Commission did not use its powers under Section 42 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) to allow voters to the new polling units in order to minimise the disruptions that may occur from such a decision in view of the forthcoming Governorship election. Consequently, out of the 5,720 polling units in Anambra State, 86 (1.5%) have no voters. For that reason, the Commission will not be deploying personnel and materials to these polling units. Furthermore, 894 (15.6%) of the polling units have between 1 and 49 voters. The election will hold in these polling units. We will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure that all Polling Units have voters allotted to them ahead of the 2023 General Election.”
Restating the Commission preparedness for the election, Professor Yakubu said all non-sensitive materials have been moved to the local government areas while sensitive materials are now in the custody of the Central Bank at its office located in Awka, Anambra state capital.
Let me reassure you that the Commission is ready for the Anambra State Governorship election next weekend. We have moved all non-sensitive materials for the election to the 21 Local Government Areas of the State. As usual, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is handling the delivery of sensitive materials to the State on schedule. Our State office in Awka is arranging for stakeholders to inspect the materials at the premises of the CBN in Awka. As is the case in all elections, the sensitive materials are moved under security escort to each Local Government Area from where they are distributed to the Registration Areas or Wards and finally to Polling Units on Election Day. I urge you to inform your Party Agents to be present for inspection of the materials at the CBN and to follow the movement of the materials to various locations should you choose to do.”
Credit: Nigerian Tribune