The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that it would not deploy personnel or election materials to the new 86 polling units in Anambra state for the governorship election.
The INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the declaration Friday during the Commission’s consultative meeting with leaders of political parties in Abuja.
Yakubu explained that the 86 polling units were among the recently converted polling units and did not have any registered voters in the units.
He said the state would be the first that voting would be taking place in new polling units since the recent successful conversion of voting points arising from the expansion of voter access to polling units in Nigeria.
He recalled that an additional 1,112 polling units were established in Anambra in addition to the existing 4,608 locations, bringing the total number of polling units in the state to 5,720.
“Voters were encouraged to seize the opportunity of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise to transfer to the new polling units most convenient for them. Many did not do so.
“This can be partly attributed to the security situation in the state which has affected the commission’s pre-election outdoor activities, including voter education and sensitisation.
“Understandably, the voters have also been more circumspect in asking for transfer to polling units. At the same time, the Commission did not use its powers under Section 42 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) to allot voters to the new polling units in order to minimise the disruptions that may occur from such a decision in view of the forthcoming Governorship election.
“Consequently, out of the 5,720 polling units in Anambra state, 86 (1.5 per cent) have no voters. For that reason, the Commission will not be deploying personnel and materials to these polling units. Furthermore, 894 (15.6 per cent) of the polling units have between 1 and 49 voters. Elections will be held in these polling units.
“We will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure that all Polling Units have voters allotted to them ahead of the 2023 General Election.
“Meanwhile, in our avowed commitment to transparency, the Commission has compiled a comprehensive list of all the Polling Units without voters as well as those having fewer than 50 registered voters.
“Copies of the list will be made available to all political parties at this meeting. The same document will also be uploaded to our website and social media platforms for public information.”