By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
Ahead of its decision to enhance greater voter access to polling units and reduce voter apathy, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has commenced a nationwide verification exercise of voting points that have been proposed for conversion to polling units.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Tuesday when he visited some of the voting points within the Federal Capital Territory and Karu in Nasarawa State.
He said; “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 Area of 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 showed 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 a work in progress. At the end of the exercise will address the media,” he said.
The INEC Chairman said he had been informed that 395 voting points were being converted to polling units in Karu Local Government.
“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 problems, 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 said.
According to him, the Continuous Voters Registration exercise would commence on June 28 after the PUs conversion.
Some of the centers visited by Yakubu included those located in Government Secondary School Life Camp, Apo Legislature Quarters, and Zone-D entrance gate Apo, in the FCT.
Others included the commission’s office in Mararaba, Karu Local Government office and Karu International market in Nasarawa State.
On his part, National Commissioner, Mohammed Haruna, said at the end of the verification exercise, INEC would hold a stakeholders’ meeting to inform stakeholders what the commission had done as well as to get their inputs.
“The next stage is a verification and that is what we have embarked on from Monday, which was a public holiday, from May 3 to May 7, and from May 8, we will do stakeholders meeting,” he said.