As part of efforts and determination to strictly follow the process of converting voting units in the country to polling units, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday began nationwide verification exercise for designated centres.
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu Chairman of the Commission commenced this on Tuesday when he visited some of the proposed centres and existing polling units in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Nasarawa State.
Alongside other top INEC staff and journalists, Yakubu made it known to newsmen at the Commission’s LG office Karu, Nasarawa State, said the purpose of the verification exercise was to ensure that right thing was done in the conversion of the voting points to polling units.
According to him, “All the National Commissioners are out, visiting the states of the Federation to verify the work of converting the voting points to polling units.
“ So, we decided from the headquarters to visit some of the polling units and voting points in the FCT and also in the Karu Local Government, Nasarawa State. We have done that of FCT. We are now in Karu.
“You will recall that as part of our engagement with stakeholders, we show images of one of the congested polling units in the country from Karu in Nasarawa State.
“So, I have to verify that the right thing is being done in converting those voting points to polling units and relocating them in line with the Commission’s guidelines.
“So far, it is work in progress. At the end of the exercise we will address the media.”
The INEC boss further said, he had been informed that 395 voting points were being converted to polling units in Karu Local Government.
He noted that with the conversion of voting points to polling units, there would be expanded access to polling units for voters, while congestion of polling units would be eliminated in future elections.
“What we have done, basically, is to build on what we did in 2019. Recall that we are converting the voting points used for the 2019 elections into autonomous polling units and relocating them.
“This is going to be a continuous process. One exercise will not solve the problem, but we hope we have established the mechanism that going forward, the commission will be adjusting the number of polling units as the number of registered voters increases.”
He assured that when the Continuous Voters Registration exercise commences in June 28 after the PUs conversion, voters would be given the opportunity to choose the location they wish to be their new polling units.
He therefore urged stakeholders and community leaders to give support to the commission and sensitize the people on the ongoing exercise for conversion of polling units.
Centers visited by Yakubu include PUs located in Government Secondary School Life Camp, Apo Legislative Quarters, and Zone-D entrance gate Apo, in the FCT.
Some other centers are the commission’s office in Mararaba, Karu Local Government office and Karu International market in Nasarawa State.