By Henry Umoru— ABUJA
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Tuesday, told the National Assembly that the 119,973 polling units being used for elections were created in 1996, by the defunct National Electoral Commission of Nigeria, NECON, when Chief Karibi Gagogo-Jack was Chairman (1994-1998) under late General Sani Abacha’s junta.
The INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, made the revelation while pleading with the National Assembly to enable the Commission embark on the creation of additional polling units, as the current number may impinge upon the integrity of the 2023 elections.
Professor Yakubu also told the Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South) led Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on INEC that more polling units would provide for a good voting environment and effective implementation of the regulations and guidelines of the Commission on election days.
He also said INEC had received 10,092 requests for polling units from across the country and that the number was still growing.
According to Yakubu, “The problem is nationwide. There are, at present, 10,092 requests for polling units from all over the country and rising.
“In other jurisdictions, expanding voter access to polling units is purely administrative. Nigeria should aim for that.
“Conversion of voting points into polling units is the least controversial, timely and inexpensive solution.”
Professor Yakubu’s revelation means that figures produced in 1996 were used for 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 general elections without being updated.