On Wednesday, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said it has removed polling units from ‘inappropriate’ places and worship centres across the country.
Mahmood Yakubu, the commission’s chairman, said this at a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in Abuja.
At the meeting, he unveiled the locations of newly created 56,872 Polling Units (PUs) and also announced other electoral arrangements.
1,607 new polling units were created in Oyo state. This brings the total number of polling units in the state to 6,390.
With the creation of the new PUs, Mr Yakubu said, Nigeria now has 176,846 full-fledged polling units against its initial 119,974 PUs in the states and Abuja.
He said the total number of polling units removed from ‘inappropriate places’ was 749.
“After wide-ranging consultations with stakeholders and fieldwork by our officials, the 56,872 Voting Points and Voting Point Settlements were converted and added to the existing 119,974 Polling Units,” Mr Yakubu said.
“Consequently, the Commission is glad to report that 25 years since the current Polling Units were created in 1996, the hard nut is finally and successfully cracked after several unsuccessful attempts. Nigeria now has 176,846 full-fledged Polling Units.
“Of this figure, 232 were removed from private properties, 145 royal palaces, six Mosques, 21 Churches and nine Shrines. The remaining 336 Polling Units were relocated for various reasons which include distance, difficult terrain, congestion, communal conflict, new settlements and general insecurity.”
He said Nigeria would no longer use Voting Points.
Though the new development will not be utilized for the four pending 2021 by-elections in Kaduna, Jigawa and Plateau States, Mr Yakubu said the country will no longer have voting points starting with the November 6, 2021, Anambra governorship election.
“For subsequent elections, beginning from the Anambra State Governorship election holding on 6th November 2021, there will be no Voting Points anymore in Nigeria,” the INEC chairman said.