From: Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has commenced nationwide verification exercise of voting points which are being proposed to be converted to polling units across the country.
Towards this end, the National Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu on Tuesday visited some of the proposed centres and existing polling units in FCT and Nasarawa State.
While answering questions from journalists at the Commission’s LG office Karu, Nasarawa State, during the tour, Yakubu explained that the purpose of the verification exercise was to ensure that right thing was done in the conversion of the voting points to polling units.
According to him, “All the National Commissioners are out, visiting the states of the Federation to verify the work of converting the voting points to polling units.
“ So, we decided from the headquarters to visit some of the polling units and voting points in the FCT and also in the Karu Local Government, Nasarawa State. We have done that of FCT. We are now in Karu.
“You will recall that as part of our engagement with stakeholders, we show images of one of the congested polling units in the country from Karu in Nasarawa State.
“So, I have to verify that the right thing is being done in converting those voting points to polling units and relocating them in line with the Commission’s guidelines.
“So far, it is work in progress. At the end of the exercise will address the media.”
The INEC Chairman said he had been informed that 395 voting points were being converted to polling units in Karu Local Government”, he said.
With the conversion of Voting points to polling units, Yakubu assured that there would be expanded access to polling units for voters, while congestion of polling units would be eliminated in future elections.
Continuing, he added, “What we have done, basically, is to build on what we did in 2019. Recall that we are converting the voting points used for the 2019 elections into autonomous polling units and relocating them.
“This is going to be a continuous process. One exercise will not solve the problem, but we hope we have established the mechanism that going forward, the commission will be adjusting the number of polling units as the number of registered voters increases.”
Yakubu assured thst when the Continuous Voters Registration exercise commences in June 28 after the PUs conversion, voters would be given the opportunity to choose the location they wish to be their new polling units.
He thus appealed to stakeholders and community leaders to support the commission and sensitise the people on the ongoing exercise for conversion of polling units.
Some of the centers visited by the INEC Chairman included; PUs located in Government Secondary School Life Camp, Apo Legislative Quarters, and Zone-D entrance gate Apo, in to the FCT
Others were the commission’s office in Mararaba, Karu Local Government office and Karu International market in Nasarawa State.