The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) plans to create additional 956 polling units in Sokoto State, its National Commissioner/ chairman of Media and Advocacy Committee, Festus Okoye, said on Tuesday in Sokoto, at a stakeholders meeting on conversion of polling units.
He said the conversion would adjust the number of polling units from 3,035 to 3,991, with a total of 1,903,166 registered voters, noting that the nationwide expansion of polling units was to ensure seamless and easy voting process in the country.
Okoye added that the adjustment was sequel to increase in population and the need to decongest the over populated polling units. According to him, INEC officials have always faced enormous challenges controlling the overcrowded polling units.
“Relocation of polling units means movement of polling units from unsuitable locations to suitable locations aimed at creating conducive environment for both electorates and poll officials. Efforts have started long time ago and different stakeholders from people at the grassroots up to the Presidency have been involved in the process,” Okoye said.
Noting that the situation had led to violence, depriving eligible voters the right to vote, extension of time and other associated challenges, Okoye said polling units stationed in religious places, privates residences and other personal structures needed to be relocated to designated government structures.
According to him, the exercise, to be concluded by May 11, will facilitate easy access to voting units, just as also spoke on INEC’s efforts to deploy Information Technology tools to lubricate the electoral system via improved digitised platforms.
He said political parties would be given codes to register their candidates online after primary, while eligible voters can use the platforms to commence registration for voters’ card with their Android phones and complete the process at registration points by providing photograph and thumb identifications.
Earlier, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Sokoto State, Sadiq Muhammad, called for the support of the public to ensure the success of the exercise, assuring that the process was targeted at improving the voting system and process in the country.
The event was attended by chairmen of political parties, community, youths and women groups, heads of law enforcement agencies and local government electoral officers, among others.
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