Anambra Guber Poll: APC, INEC in war of words over new polling units

Semiu Salami
Semiu Salami
Mohammed and Prof. Jega

The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday disagreed with the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) over the new polling units created for the Nov. 16 Anambra governorship polls.

APC said enough sensitisation and voter education had not been carried out ahead of the elections, according to a statement by the party’s Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed.

INEC had created 1,973 extra voting points for the governorship election in addition to the existing 4,608 polling units in Anambra.

APC statement stated that “INEC apparently in order to facilitate the accreditation and voting process on Saturday has created these extra polling units from those that have in excess of 500 voters.

“This action in itself may not have diabolical undertone, especially because the extra polling units are located within the same place as the original ones and presided over by Assistant Presiding Officers.

“This development can either disenfranchise many voters or play into the hands of those who are already perfecting their rigging strategies.”

APC, therefore, implored INEC to urgently give the extra polling units adequate publicity. “INEC must be proactive because lack of adequate personnel and materials for these extra polling units will create chaos on voting day,” the statement stressed.

But INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Board of Directors of the commission’s Electoral Institute, Prof. Lai Olurode, said voting points were created to reduce overcrowding in the existing polling units.

“The commission has done everything to ensure that the election is successful. We created the sub-units (voting points) from polling units that had over 1, 000 voters and reduced each voting point to not more that 300 to 400.

“The sub-units are not far from the existing units. They are within the same location, but just different polling points. This is done to ensure that voters are not disenfranchised due to time and to make for ease on the election day.

“Our electoral officers have been trained to man the new sub-units and voters will be directed to their voting point as the sub-units were created in an alphabetical order as contained in the register,” Olurode said.

He promised that no eligible voter would be disenfranchised in the election.

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