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No such thing as creation of new polling units - INEC dismisses allegation

No such thing as creation of new polling units - INEC dismisses allegation

- INEC has dismissed claims that it has created 30,000 new polling units across the country

- Rotimi Oyekanmi, the commission's chief press secretary explained that there were only requests for such creation from various states in Nigeria

- Urging the public to maintain their confidence in commission, Oyekanmi said Nigerians should should disregard such false report

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied alleged plans to re-introduce 30,000 new polling units so as to compromise the 2019 general elections.

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP)'s national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Friday, April 20, in statement had alleged that INEC was planning to create 30,000 illegal polling units in some remote areas of the country, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

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A statement issued by the chief press secretary to INEC's chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, on Sunday, April 22, in Abuja urged members of the public to disregard the statement.

Oyekanmi said the fact of the matter was that the commission had received 3,789 requests nationwide for the creation of new polling units.

He said INEC had directed its Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to thoroughly assess the requests and provide it with information on new settlements not served or inadequately served by existing polling units.

He added that the commissioners were also to provide information on areas with natural barriers that hinder access to existing polling units as well as areas that were distant from existing polling units.

Oyekanmi stated: “The RECs are also to assess and provide information on areas affected by communal and other conflicts that make voting in existing polling units unsafe for voters.”

According to him, these reports are still being awaited from the various states.

“It is these reports and the information they contain that will be collated and carefully examined by the commission in order to determine what changes may be necessary in the current polling units` profile of the country.

“Therefore, the insinuation that the commission intends to create 30,000 new polling units to compromise the 2019 General Elections is false, misleading, unfounded and should be disregarded.”

The commission assured the public that its decisions and actions shall always be guided by the provisions of the extant laws and its determination to respond to requests by Nigerians to serve them better.

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He added that the creation of more polling units would be done only after full consultation with all stakeholders.

Meanwhile, reported that the issue of the creation of 30,000 new polling units in the run up to the 2015 elections had resurfaced, with the alleged move by INEC to re-introduce new polling units, disguised as Voting Point Settlements.

According to the report, should INEC adopt the format used in 2014 when it attempted to create precisely 30,062 new polling units, with more units allocated to the states in Northern Nigeria than the South, this could compromise the integrity of the 2019 elections.

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