The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it has so far received requests for creation of 9,777 additional polling units in the country.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this in Kaduna on Tuesday when he led members of the Commission’s management on a visit to Headquarters of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF).
According to the INEC boss, the Commission established 119,973 polling units in 1996, noting for 25 years, it had not created additional polling units.
According to him: “Since 1999, the nation had conducted six general elections using the same polling units.
“The growing demands by Nigerians for additional polling units is increasing by the day.
‘We did not ask them to forward their request but they did that unsolicited. Infact, there is one request we received from a person requesting for about 800 polling units in his area.”
The INEC Chairman disclosed that from October 2020 when the commission received 5,700 requests for additional polling units, the number of requests have skyrocketed by 4,077 in just four months.
“As of yesterday the 15th February, 2021 we had received 9,777 additional requests for polling units,” he stressed.
Yakubu maintained the calls for creation of additional polling units were not confined to a particular section of the country but rather ‘every section of the country is asking for more polling units.
Explaining further, he said that consultations were ongoing with critical stakeholders to ensure that Nigerians understand why it has become necessary to have additional polling units.
Responding, Chairman of the ACF, Chief Audu Ogbeh noted that from the presentation made by the commission’s Chairman the message is very clear.
Represented by the National Secretary, Murtala Aliyu, ACF Chairman said the exercise should not be politicised but done in the interest of all Nigerians.
Ogbeh said ACF will reach out to the people of the region and educate them about it.