The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has commenced the verification of proposed voting units centres to be converted into Polling Units across the country.
Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the disclosure when he visited some of the proposed centres and existing polling units in FCT and Nasarawa State.
Speaking to newsmen during the exercise at the INEC’s office in Karu Local Government, Nasarawa State, Prof Yakubu revealed that the verification exercise is to ensure that the right thing was done in the conversion of the voting points to polling units.
“All the National Commissioners are out, visiting the states of the federation to verify the work of converting the voting points to polling units.
“So, we decided from the headquarters to visit some of the polling units and voting points in the FCT and also in the Karu Local Government, Nasarawa State.
“We have done that of FCT, we are now in Karu. You will recall that as part of our engagement with stakeholders, we show images of one of the congested polling units in the country from Karu in Nasarawa State.
“So, I have to verify that the right thing is being done in converting those voting points to polling units and relocating them in line with the Commission’s guidelines. So far, it is a work in progress. At the end of the exercise will address the media,” he promised.
Prof Yakubu further noted that he had been informed that 395 voting points were converted to polling units in Karu Local Government, stressing that the conversion of voting points to polling units would be expanded access to polling units for voters, while congestion of polling units would be eliminated in future elections.
“What we have done, basically, is to build on what we did in 2019. Recall that we are converting the voting points used for the 2019 elections into autonomous polling units and relocating them.
“This is going to be a continuous process. One exercise will not solve the problem. But we hope we have established the mechanism that going forward, the commission will be adjusting the number of polling units as the number of registered voters increases,” he said.
He also gave assurance that the Continuous Voters Registration exercise would commence on June 28 after the PUs conversion, adding that voters would be given the opportunity to choose the location they wish to be their new polling units.
Some of the centers visited by Yakubu include PUs located in Government Secondary School Life Camp, Apo Legislative Quarters, and Zone-D entrance gate Apo, in the FCT.
Others are the commission’s office in Mararaba, Karu Local Government office and Karu International market in Nasarawa State.
Equally speaking with newsmen, National Commissioner, Mohammed Haruna, said that the visit was to ensure the fieldwork carried out by the officers of the commission for conversion exercise was reliable.
Haruna disclosed that at the end of the verification exercise, INEC would hold a stakeholders’ meeting to inform stakeholders what the commission had done as well as to get their inputs.
“The next stage is a verification and that is what we have embarked on from Monday, which was a public holiday, from May 3 to May 7 and from May 8, we will do stakeholders meeting,” he said.
Some of the PUs visited in Abuja included PU001 located at Minister’s Gate, Life Camp; Government Secondary School – Life Camp which also served as a collation center.