The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Plateau has increased the number of polling units in the state by 1,542 ahead of the 2015 general elections.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Habu Zarma, made disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos yesterday, adding that with the increase, the state now has 4,173 polling units as against the former figure of 2,631.
He said the commission decided to increase the number of polling units in areas where there was high turnout of voters during previous elections, explaining that the additional polling units were meant to decongest such areas.
“Again, we checked and discovered that some voting points were very far from voters. We felt that voters did not need to move that far in search of where to vote; so, we brought the voting points closer,’’ he said.
He said that some communities in Plateau were also found to have migrated to new settlements due to persistent violence, hence the need to allocate new polling units to such new settlements.
Zarma advised voters who had registered and relocated to new areas not to re-register in their new places, adding that all they needed to do was to apply to transfer their voting points to their new settlement.
The commissioner warned that anyone who registered twice would have his/her name deleted from the voters register.
Zarma said that most electoral problems in the state were usually encountered in Jos North Local Government Area owing to mutual suspicion and distrust among its residents.
“If INEC cites one polling unit somewhere, other rival groups would complain and this usually create some confusion.
“But we have tried to resolve the issues amicably after listening to all sides,’’ he said.
He said that INEC had taken note of flash points in the state and was addressing them before the 2015 general elections.
Zarma dismissed fears of rigging during the 2015 elections, noting that card readers at each polling points would record number of accredited voters and convey same to INEC headquarters in Abuja electronically.
“With that device, we can know the number of voters that had been accredited; while results will immediately be posted into the same system to enable INEC headquarter verify the results of every polling unit.
“Once such details are captured, no one can fake figures anywhere,’’ he said. (NAN)