BY PRINCELY ONYENWE,IMO
The people of Imo state has applauded the recent development on the creation of more polling centers by INEC to enable voters participate in subsequent elections at the GRASSROOTS in Imo state.
Few hours ago, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) pronounced the created additional 1,235 polling units in Imo, bringing the total number of polling units in the state to 4,758.
9News Nigeria reports that the state INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Francis Ezeonu made public, the commission’s efforts to expand voter access to polling units on Wednesday in Owerri.
Ezeonu said over the years, there had been attempts by the commission to create additional polling units to cater to the interest of new settlements and areas with unmanageable voter population.
He hinted that in 2011, the commission opted to create voting points and voting settlements to address the issue of overcrowding during the election and new settlements not served by existing polling units.
However, the 1,235 polling units were created by converting existing voting points and voting point settlements into full polling units.
He said the commission also relocated, where necessary, new or existing polling units to places where they were closer or more accessible to voters and unserved areas.
He said INEC equally decongested existing polling units by reducing the number of voters per polling unit.
The INEC REC said the additional polling units were in line with the expectation of the law which provided that “the Commission establish the sufficient number of polling units in each Registration Area and allot voters to such polling units.”
Ezeonu said that the commission was undertaking a verification exercise after which it would compile the new polling units, publish their names and delineation data before the resumption of nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) in June.
According to him, INEC conducted five general elections using the same set and number of polling units established by the defunct National Electoral Commission in 1996 and used in 1999.
“The commission has also decided to improve the health and safety conditions at polling units during elections in order to comply with COVID-19 protocols as well as address declining voter turnout at elections due to lack of access to polling units,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner presented the local government areas in the state and the number of polling units assigned to each.He added that the commission would continue to improve the quality of access to electoral services provided to voters by ensuring better access to polling units for persons with disabilities.
This is a welcome development to take governance to the GRASSROOTS.
9News Nigeria (Owerri)
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