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NigeriaDecides2023: Elections Won’t Hold In 240 Polling Units- INEC

By Adedayo Said

Elections will not be held in 240 polling units in 28 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said.

This is because no voter chose the polling units during the last Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) between June 2021 and July 2022.

INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this when he addressed members of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) at the INEC headquarters in Abuja on Monday.

According to him, the polling units are part of the over 56,000 newly created polling units.

INEC had from 2021 increased the number of polling units from a total of 119,973 to 176,846.

With this development, the presidential and national assembly as well as states and their houses of assembly elections will be held in 176,606 polling units, he added.

“There are 240 polling units without registered voters spread across 28 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). They range from one polling unit to 12 polling units in each State and the FCT, except Taraba and Imo States with 34 and 38 polling units respectively.

“No new registrants chose the polling units and no voters indicated interest to transfer to them during the last Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), mainly for security reasons. This means that no elections will hold in these polling units.”

“You may recall that in 2021, with your support and that of other critical stakeholders, the Commission successfully expanded voter access to polling units 25 years after the last delimitation exercise in 1996. Consequently, the number of polling units increased from 119,973 to the current figure of 176,846,” Mr Yakubu said.

Redistribution of Voters

Meanwhile, the INEC chairman said voters whose polling units have been changed will receive text messages from the commission.

He said voters can also confirm the locations of their polling units through a dedicated portal on its website.

“From the feedback we received from our officials and accredited observers following the recent nationwide mock accreditation using the BVAS, it is clear that some voters could not easily identify their polling units. This should not happen on election day,” he said.

“We have also compiled the register of such voters and our state offices will give it wide publicity, especially for those who may not have provided their telephone numbers during voter registration or those whose numbers may have changed.

“Voters can locate and confirm their polling units before election day by sending a regular text or WhatsApp message to a dedicated telephone number. Details of the simple procedure will be uploaded to our social media platforms shortly.”

Mr Yakubu said the commission had redistributed voters to other newly created polling units to avoid congestion in pre-existing ones.

The redistribution was done only for voters in proximate locations, “where they are separated by distance, this must be done after consultation with the voters.”

According to him, “this has been done by our state offices nationwide.”

The INEC chairman said the commission would make available to Nigerians, a comprehensive list of the polling units by name, code number and their locations by state, local government and registration area.

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