By Our Reporter
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will create 1, 189 new polling units in Enugu State.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Mr Emeka Ononamadu disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Enugu.
Ononamadu said that the new polling units would be created from the existing 2, 958 polling units in the state.
The REC said that the move had become necessary following the need to decongest overcrowded polling units in the state.
He also said that the move would create more units for newly established settlements and residential areas in the state.
He said that the new polling units would be appropriately located in strict adherence to INEC guidelines to enable voters have easy access to the areas.
“The commission recently embarked on nationwide stakeholders engagement during which Nigerians raised concern on the declining voters’ access to polling units.
“Since the last time polling units were created, lots of new settlements, residential areas, layouts, living squares and other new areas where Nigerians do business have come up.
“These areas have not been served with any polling units and this has led to voters going too far from their residence or experiencing congestion due to very high number of registered voters in one polling units, he said “.
Ononamadu said that the commission had a roundtable with stakeholders in Enugu to re-emphasize the plan to improve citizens access to polling units from existing voting points.
He said that the creation of the new polling units would address the poor voters turnout in recent election across the country especially in 2020 gubernatorial and presidential election.
According to him, Section 42 of the Electoral Act gave INEC the responsibility to establish sufficient number of polling units in each registration area and allot voters to such polling units.
“According to the guidelines, no polling unit will be located in private buildings or facilities, houses of traditional rulers and religious buildings,” he said.
Ononamadu named other areas barred from hosting polling units as political party buildings, residence of government officials or any building which a voter may under any circumstance be denied access.
He said that the new location for the new polling units would be verified, adding that it was not true that some communities applied for new polling units.
He also said that there were no pressures from politicians to give them polling units.
“These rumours are false. INEC is simply converting existing voting points into polling units. It is not a direct response to any application or pressure,” Ononamadu said.