INEC Bows To Pressure, Puts Creation Of 30,000 New Polling Units On Hold Till After 2015

Jega-PUThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) bowed to pressure on Tuesday as it announced the suspension of proposed creation of additional 30,000 polling units across the country until after the 2015 general election.

The commission took the decision at a meeting, which reviewed reports from its Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) over the reconfiguration of polling units at the INEC headquarters, Abuja.

The commission, in a statement signed by its secretary, Augusta Ogakwu, said it decided to put on hold the issue of new polling units based on the level of controversy it generated in the country.

The statement said INEC had “reviewed reports sent in from States by Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on reconfiguration of the polling unit structure and creation of additional polling units.

“Taking everything into consideration – especially the controversy over creation of additional polling units that has been overheating the polity, and the apparent inadequacy of time for the exercise – the Commission took a decision to suspend the exercise until after the 2015 general elections”.

The commission, however, stated that it will continue with “the use of Voting Points, where necessary, to mitigate population pressure in overcrowded polling units during the forthcoming elections”.

INEC added that polling units at certain locations that do not suit the conduct of election would also be relocated.

It would be recalled that INEC had in August, 2014, said it would create additional 30,000 polling units for the 2015 general elections. But various interest groups criticised the plan, saying it was a ploy to rig the forthcoming poll in favor of a particular section of the country.