The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the creation of additional 56,872 polling units in various parts of the country.
The announcement was made by the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, on Wednesday, at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja where he noted that the move was in line with the resolve to expand voters’ access to polling units.
“After wide-ranging consultations with stakeholders and fieldwork by our officials, the 56,872 voting points and voting point settlements were converted and added to the existing 119,974 Polling Units.
“Consequently, the commission is glad to report that 25 years since the current polling units were created in 1996, the hard nut is finally and successfully cracked after several unsuccessful attempts. Nigeria now has 176,846 full-fledged polling units,” he said.
Professor Yakubu stated that the history of creating and expanding polling units in Nigeria has been long and complex.
According to the Chairman, INEC has also made efforts to relocate many polling units from inappropriate places to public buildings accessible to voters, polling agents, observers, and the media during elections.
He listed some of the locations to include private residences and properties, palaces of traditional rulers, places of worship and shrines
The INEC Boss explained that before 2010, the electoral umpire operated on a round figure of approximately 120,000 polling units.
He added that a census undertaken by the commission before the 2011 general elections arrived at the precise figure of 119,973 polling units.
Professor Mahmood Yakubu attributed the establishment of voting points and voting point settlements across the states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to several unsuccessful attempts to create additional polling units.
“The voting points were tied to the existing polling units and voting point settlements. The number of registered voters in a polling unit and the voting point settlement in the FCT was used to determine their voting points, based on the upper and lower thresholds of 500 and 750 voters respectively,” he said.