We'll Not Create Polling Unit To Satisfy Any Political Party In Ogun - INEC - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Monday, May 10, 2021

We'll Not Create Polling Unit To Satisfy Any Political Party In Ogun - INEC

      •Prof. AbdulGaniy (in agbada)

Godwin Akomah, Abeokuta

Resident Electoral Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ogun State, Prof. AbdulGaniy Olayinka, has said that the Commission will not create any polling unit or move existing one to another location to satisfy a political party, politician and perceived powerful interests in the State.

Prof. AbdulGaniy said new or additional polling units will be created to meet the accessiblility, convenience and safety needs of voters during election.

He also gave insight into why a polling unit was created in an open space in Bakatari Village, a border community between Ogun State via Odeda Local Government Area and Oyo State, saying since the boundary was not properly delineated or demarcated to ascertain which area falls into Ogun State, INEC had to use open place to serve as a polling unit there.

The REC in Ogun State spoke during the stakeholders' meeting on the planned 'Expansion of Voter Access To polling Units and Commencement of Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) Exercise' at the Commission's State Headquarters, Magbon, Abeokuta.

 He disclosed that the the average number of voters per polling unit in Ogun State  ranged from 374 in Remo North to a maximum of 1,170 in Ado/Odo/Ota and average of 740 in the State.

He also disclosed that the national average number of voters per polling unit was 700 during the 2019 general elections with a specific polling unit in Nasarawa State recording over 15,000 voters while the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had over 2,000 voters. 

The Don attributed the cause of such congested or crowded polling unit to inadequate polling units, declining number of polling units and population upsurge among other factors, explaining that the development informed why INEC is desirous of expanding voters access to polling units.

He recalled the repeated attempt by INEC to expand electorate's access to polling units by setting up   new ones or relocating some to better sites, lamenting that such attempts were not successful, citing politicization of the process by sundry interests in the country, delay arising from opposition to the establishment of polling units and inadequate consultation with all stakeholders by the Commission.
He also pointed out that the exact number and location of polling units in the country remained largely unknown for a long time,  but submitted that subsequent enumeration exercise established the number to be 119,973 contrary to the figure of 120,000 that was assumed for many years.

He noted that the current configuration of 119,973 (polling units) nationally and 3,210 in Ogun State, was established by the defunct National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (NECON) in 1996, stressing that it has been very difficult for the Commission to create additional units despite the growing number of voters, settlements and population.


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