A total of 749 polling units have been relocated from inappropriate locations in various states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Wednesday at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He said, “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.” Of the figure, 232 were removed from private properties, 145 from royal palaces, six from mosques, 21 from churches, and nine from shrines.
The remaining 336 polling units, the INEC boss stated, were relocated for various reasons which included distance, difficult terrain, congestion, communal conflict, new settlements, and general insecurity. He said the history of creating and expanding polling units in Nigeria has been long and complex, stating that their adequacy and accessibility, in terms of number and location across the country, were some of the challenges that had to be addressed in the interest of credible elections.
Professor Yakubu, therefore, noted that INEC has converted the existing voting points and voting point settlements in various parts of the country to polling units. As a result, he unveiled a total of 56,872 additional polling units, saying Nigeria now has 176,846 full-fledged polling units. The INEC chairman attributed the establishment of voting points and voting point settlements to the several unsuccessful attempts to create additional polling units.