Posted by News Express | 23 April 2018 | 807 times
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has explained the controversy trailing the alleged creation of additional 30,000 additional polling units across the country.
Rotimi Oyekanmi, who is the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu on Tuesday during Channels Television’s Breakfast Programme, Sunrise Daily, said the allegation is false.
“INEC is not about to create 30,000 polling units. What happened is that we received requests from all over the country.
“In total as we speak, about 3,789 requests from all over the country from people asking us to create new polling units in their new settlements,” he said.
The electoral umpire has come under serious criticism from political stakeholders, especially the main opposition party Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of planning to rig next year’s election with the creation of additional polling booths.
But Oyekanmi debunked this claim. He said the Commission only received requests to create more polling units due to increase population and other factors.
“This should not be unexpected because the population is growing, new settlements are springing up and because of clashes all over the place, people are moving from one place to the other.
“And we have existing polling units. So if new settlements are coming up and the number is increasing, it is natural for people to say we would like to participate, come and create polling units.”
The INEC official explained that despite the requests, the commission was not in a hurry to create more voting centers.
“When we receive such requests, we decided then to ask our Resident Electoral Commissioners in the state for information.
“We wanted to know the new settlements, areas where there are barriers, areas where communal clashes push people out to places and it is based on this report that we will now look at what could be done about the profiling in the country,” he explained.
With the election about 300 days from now, Nigerians expect that INEC would avoid distractions from political gladiators and focus on how to deepen the nation’s democracy by improving on the electoral process. (Channels TV)
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