With less than two weeks to the 2023 General Election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said 240 polling units across the country do not have any registered voters, hence election will not hold in those locations.
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu who made this known at a consultative meeting with leaders of political parties in Abuja, Monday, said the polling units will be left out because no new registrants chose them and no voters indicated interest to transfer to them during the last Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) as a result of security reasons.
The INEC Chairman said the identified polling units without registered voters spread across 28 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He assured the gathering of political parties leaders that no election would be held in the identified polling units. With the development, he further disclosed that the number of Polling Units have reduced from 176,846 to 176,606.
In the INEC Chairman’s, words:
“However, there are 240 polling units without registered voters spread across 28 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). They range from one polling unit to 12 polling units in each State and the FCT, except Taraba and Imo States with 34 and 38 polling units respectively.
“No new registrants chose the polling units and no voters indicated interest to transfer to them during the last Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), mainly for security reasons. This means that no elections will hold in these polling units.
“In our avowed commitment to transparency, the Commission is making available to Nigerians a comprehensive list of these polling units by name, code number and their locations by State, Local Government and Registration Area. With this development, the number of polling units where elections will hold nationwide on 25th February 2023 and 11th March 2023 is now 176,606.
“Above all, Nigerians deserve the right to know the locations of these polling units. Accordingly, the soft copy of the list has been uploaded to our website and social media platforms for public information and guidance”.
Due to the feedback received from the officials of the Commission and accredited observers after the recent nationwide mock accreditation using the BVAS, it was discovered that some voters could not easily identify their polling units.
To this end, the Commission advised voters to confirm the locations of their polling units through a dedicated portal provided on INEC website for easy identification on election day.
According to INEC, voters can identify their polling units by clicking on the link bellow: https://cvr.inecnigeria.org/pu.
Yakubu further said “Voters can locate and confirm their polling units before election day by sending a regular text or WhatsApp message to a dedicated telephone number. Details of the simple procedure will be uploaded to our social media platforms shortly”.
Prof Yakubu urged Chairmen and leaders of political parties to ensure that only agents accredited by the Commission and wearing the correct identification tags appear at polling units and collation centres during elections.
He warned that a situation where two or more agents claim to represent a political party at the polling units or collation centres, is unacceptable, adding that violators are liable to arrest and prosecution for impersonation.
The Electoral Umpire further expressed concern over violent attacks on supporters of political parties across the board, which he noted has resulted in the loss of lives in some cases.
“Let me once again appeal to Chairman and leaders of political parties to continue to call your candidates and supporters to order. I also call on the security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies to arrest, investigate and prosecute anyone involved in violent conduct, including incendiary statements capable of inciting a breach of the peace,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the political parties, Chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Council(IPAC), Yabagi Yusuf Sani urged INEC not to postpone the forthcoming election but create a niche for itself by keeping to the date.
Sani who appealed to political parties to be prepared to submit themselves to the outcome of the election, also urge Nigerians to accept the election results in good faith.