Anambra Election: 86 polling units have no voters – INEC chair

3 months ago | 195


By Anthony Isibor


PROF. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said that out of the 5,720 polling units in Anambra State, 86, and 1.5 percent will have no voters in the forthcoming election.

Speaking at a special consultative meeting with political parties in Abuja on Friday,  October 29, 2021, Yakubu noted that the situation arose because of the additional polling units that were created in the state in preparation for the election and because voters had not transferred to the new polling units most convenient for them as encouraged by the commission a month ago.

Although he attributed this to the security situation in the state, which has also affected the Commission’s pre-election outdoor activities, including voter education and sensitization, he added that the voters have been more circumspect in asking for transfer to polling units.

 “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.

“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. 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,” he said.

Yakubu also noted that the Commission did not use its powers under Section 42 of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended to allot voters to the new polling units in order to minimize the disruptions that may occur from such a decision.

The INEC chairman, however, noted that out of the 18 political parties participating in the November election, one political party has refused to nominate a polling unit agent as required by law even though the deadline was 21st of October 2021.

“As required by law, we requested political parties to upload the names and other personal details of their polling agents to a dedicated portal at least two weeks to the election.

“While 17 out of 18 political parties nominated their polling agents for all or a substantial number of the polling units and collation centers, one party failed to nominate a single agent for any polling unit or collation centre although it has a governorship candidate and a running mate participating in the election.

Yakubu, however, reiterated the commission's readiness for the Anambra state governorship election coming up next weekend and urged all the stakeholders to work towards the achievement of a free and fair election.

“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.

 “With just a few days to the Anambra election, it is our hope that any lingering grey areas will be discussed and addressed at this meeting. We will also brief you about the assurances we received from the security agencies and the outcome of our interactive meeting with the Joint Committee of the National Assembly this week.

“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 so,” he added.


Oct. 29, 2021 @ 17:35 GMT |

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