Anambra Election: Why we’ll not deploy election materials to 86 polling units – INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday said it will not deploy personnel or election materials to the new 86 polling units in Anambra for the state governorship election.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this during the commission’s consultative meeting with leaders of political parties on Friday in Abuja, NAN reports.

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 noted that the state would be the first where 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 sensitization.

Understandably, the voters have also been more circumspect in asking for a 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 allow voters to the new polling units in order to minimize 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 percent) have no voters.

For that reason, the Commission will not be deploying personnel and materials to these polling units.

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Furthermore, 894 (15.6 percent) of the polling units have between 1 and 49 voters. The election will hold 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 under 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,” Yakubu said.

He reassured the party leaders that INEC was ready for the Anambra governorship election on Nov. 6.

He said that the commission had moved all non-sensitive materials for the election to the 21 local government areas of the state.

“As usual, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is handling the delivery of sensitive materials to the state on schedule. Our State office in Awka is arranging for stakeholders to inspect the materials at the premises of the CBN in Awka.

As it is the case in all elections, the sensitive materials are moved under security escort to each Local Government Area from where they are distributed to the Registration Areas or Wards and finally to Polling Units on Election Day.”

Yakubu urged the party leaders to inform their agents to be present for inspection of the materials at the CBN premises and to follow the movement of the materials to various locations should they choose to do so.

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