INEC plans more polling units, meets stakeholders

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Friday Olokor,  Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission would be expanding the access of voters to polling units in subsequent elections.

The commission said it would address the inadequacies of polling units in Nigeria and the challenges they pose to election management.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, explained these in a statement iafter a meeting of its senior management staff in Abuja on Tuesday, adding that there would be a meeting of stakeholders on the issue.

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He said, “The commission met on February 2 2021 and deliberated on a number of issues including the finalised arrangements for the upcoming engagements with stakeholders on expanding voter access to polling units in Nigeria.

“For several weeks, the commission has been preparing for these national engagements to address the inadequacies of polling units in Nigeria and the challenges they pose to election management.

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“Some of these challenges include overcrowding, numerous unserved populations and poor locations, which are potentially disenfranchising millions of Nigerians, and also pose health risks in the context of the COVID – 19 pandemic. This is a national problem that calls for national consensus.”

He said  INEC planned to meet with stakeholders including political parties, civil society organisations, religious leaders, traditional institutions and  labour unions.

“Among the burning issues to be addressed at these consultations are the challenges that declining access to polling units pose to democracy and election management in Nigeria.”

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