As the implementation of the expansion of Voter Access to Polling Units commences across the country with the field exercises and verification, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmud Yakubu, has undertaken an on-the-spot assessment of progress made so far in parts of the FCT and also Nasarawa state.
Professor Yakubu led a team from the Commission’s Headquarters to Life-camp and Apo Legislative Quarters areas of the FCT, as well as parts of Karu in Nasarawa state. He expressed satisfaction with the progress made so far, even as he admitted that there is a lot of work to be done to decongest Polling units and bring them closer to the people.
Addressing Journalists in the course of the tour, the INEC Chairman said “the purpose of the visit is the verification that the Commission is embarking on. 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 Karu in Nasarawa State”..
According to Prof. Yakubu, so far, in Karu LGA, 395 Voting Points have been converted to Polling Units in Karu Local Government of Nasarawa state to avoid the congestion of Polling Units experienced in the 2019 general elections.He stated that the Commission was expanding access for voters in preparation for the commencement of Voter Registration on Monday, the 28th of June.
The INEC Chairman hinted that expansion of voter access to Polling Units would be a continuous process going forward, as the need arises.
National Commissioner Supervising the North Central states, Mohammed Kudu Haruna, who accompanied the INEC Chairman on the assessment tour said the Commission planned to hold a stakeholders meeting at the end of the verification exercise, in order to harvest peoples’ views and to help the Commission improve on its work.
The National Commissioner buttressed the earlier point made by the Chairman that the CVR exercise would afford citizens the opportunity to choose their preferred Polling Unit, with the conversion of existing Voting Points to autonomous Polling Units.
The Assessment entourage led by the INEC Chairman was received by the INEC FCT Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alh. Yahaya Bello and other staff of at the FCT office during the tour of FCT Polling Units, while the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Nasarawa, Dr. Uthman Ajidagba led the team to receive the INEC Chairman in his domain.
Also on the Chairman’s entourage for the assessment tour were his Technical Assistants, Directors, and other Directing staff from the Headquarters.