Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) Resident Commissioner in charge of Benue State, Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda, has disclosed that there would be a total of 5,102 polling units in Benue for the general elections.
Yilwatda disclosed this during a meeting organised by the newly-deployed Commissioner of Police to Benue, CP Omololu Bishi, with stakeholders at the Police Officers’ Mess in Makurdi.
He recalled that in 2015 general elections, polling unit 105 was suppressed leaving over 700 eligible voters in that unit unable to exercise their franchise.
The REC who said he had been on that matter since then to ensure that the polling unit was restored, said his effort paid off when recently, the suppressed polling unit was added to the existing number of polling units.
He stated further that 109,000 internally-displaced persons (IDPs) in the state were eligible to vote in the forthcoming general elections.
The INEC boss who maintained that it had become necessary to create IDP voting because the IDP votes alone could determine who becomes the next governor of the state. He explained that they would vote based on their wards and not based on their polling units.
“There will be IDP voting in 2019. We are already doing a survey of all IDPs in Benue and this will be used to set up IDP voting points in the state.”
He revealed that election materials had started arriving the state preparatory for the general elections.
On his part, CP Bishi who interfaced with the stakeholders comprising representatives of 10 political parties, traditional rulers and the leadership of the Benue Motorcycles Hirers Association (BEMOA), assured that the police would be professional in all their duties throughout the period of the elections.
“We will be very neutral and apolitical in our duty. I, therefore, urge you to shun any act of violence before, during and after the elections.”