INEC approves 5640 polling units for Anambra guber poll
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has revealed that elections will hold in 5,640 out of the 5,720 polling units across the 21 Local Government Areas of Anambra State.
According to the electoral body, an additional 1,112 units were established in Anambra State in addition to the existing 4,608.
INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu at a consultative meeting with political parties, said: “86 of the polling units representing 1.5% do not have registered voters, adding that the “Commission will not be deploying personnel and materials to these polling units”.
He also noted that the Anambra Governorship election “will be the first 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”.
According to him: “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.
“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. This can be partly attributed to the security situation in the State which has affected the Commission’s pre-election outdoor activities, including voter education and sensitisation.
“Understandably, the voters have also been more circumspect in asking for transfer to polling units.
“At the same time, 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 minimise the disruptions that may occur from such a decision in view of the forthcoming Governorship election.
“Meanwhile, in our avowed commitment to transparency, the Commission has compiled a comprehensive list of all the Polling Units without voters as well as those having under 50 registered voters. Copies of the list will be made available to all political parties at this meeting. The same document will also be uploaded to our website and social media platforms for public information”
Giving further update on the preparedness of the Commission for the November 6 election, the INEC boss, hinted that “let me reassure you that the Commission is ready for the Anambra State Governorship election next weekend. 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.
“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 chose to do so”
He continued, “three weeks ago, the Commission published the register of voters for the Anambra Governorship election on 7th October 2021 i.e. 30 days to the election as required by law. Each of the 18 political parties was given a soft copy of the register. In addition to meeting the requirement of the law, the presentation of the register is significant for another reason.
“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. These agents are your representatives at the polling units and the various collations centres. The deadline was 21st October 2021.
“While 17 out 18 political parties nominated their Polling Agents for all or a substantial number of the Polling Units and collation centres, 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”.