INEC urges voters to take advantage of PUs expansion for transfer

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has advised registered voters living far from their Polling Units (PUs) to take advantage of the newly created PUs to apply for voter transfer.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, gave the advice at the commission’s first quarterly consultative meeting with the media in Abuja on Friday.

Yakubu urged media organisations to sensitise registered voters to transfer their polling units to the nearest unit for conveniences on election days.

He said that many registered voters were yet to take advantage of the new units, citing example of  the FCT, where he said 593 out of 2,822 are yet to have voters.

“I want to draw your attention to the distribution of voters to Polling Units in the FCT, particularly the fact that 593 out of 2,822 or 21 per cent of the total do not have voters.

“This is because voters failed to take advantage of the expansion of access to transfer to these new polling units.

“The list of Polling Units having 0 – 50 registered voters in the FCT is among the documents in your folders for this meeting.

“The Commission looks forward to the support of media organisations to encourage voters who wish to transfer from their present Polling Units to new ones.

”This is created as part of the commission’s expansion of access polling units across the country.

“After all, your support was crucial to the success of the recent expansion of voter access to polling units for the first time in 25 years since the initial delimitation in 1996,” Yakubu said.

He assured that no ballot paper, result sheet, any election materials, ad hoc staff or security personnel would be deployed to PUs without voters, saying “nobody will use them as miracle centres.”

He urged the media to continue to sensitise voters who had registered at any time previously not to register again.

Yakubu said that INEC was now undertaking comprehensive cleaning up of the data from the ongoing Continuous Voter Register (CVR) to ensure that only eligible citizens were added to voters’ register for 2023 general election.

“We will share our findings with Nigerians very soon. The actual dates for the collection of the PVCs nationwide will also be announced very soon.” he said.

Yakubu, who said that INEC was ready for the FCT elections, re-emphasied that Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) would be deployed for the elections.

He added that the same technology would be deployed in all forthcoming elections across the country.

“Similarly, for all elections going forward, Polling Unit results will be uploaded in real-time on the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal,” Yakubu said.

The President Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Chris Isiguzo, commended INEC performance in the Anambra governorship election, saying it has brought integrity into Nigeria elections.

Isiguzo, represented by the National Treasurer, Dele Atunbi, urged INEC to sustain the performance in subsequence elections, especially in Ekiti, Osun and FCT.

He assured INEC that the media would continue to support the commission to deepen Nigeria democracy and development.

Isiguzo appealed to the political class in Nigeria to reduce the rate of election litigations in the country.

“In 2019, election, we recorded 750 petitions on election alone. On appeal, we had 805 appeals.

“We want to appeal to the political class to be less litigious over electoral matters.  “You have the right to go to court.

“Let us take a cue from the people of Jigawa State. They did not litigate over any matter in the 2019 election,’’ Isiguzo said.

He also appealed to Nigerians to do everything possible to support INEC and stop destructive tendency, especially by destroying INEC facilities.

“We should protect our national assets. It is part of national asset that should be protected.

“If peradventure we continue to destroy our national assets, it is not in the best interest of all of us. It is against our people.” Isiguzo said.(NAN)