Nigeria’s electoral body, INEC, on Wednesday, announced the expansion of the existing Polling Units across the country from 119,974 to 176,846 full-fledged Polling Units.
Consequently, 749 Polling Units were relocated from inappropriate locations to appropriate public facilities or open spaces in line with its policy to guarantee unencumbered access to Polling Units.
Out of this figure, “232 were removed from private properties, 145 royal palaces, 6 Mosques, 21 Churches and 9 Shrines.”
As a result of the expansion, the Commission disclosed that, “for subsequent elections, beginning from the Anambra State Governorship election holding on 6th November 2021, there will be no Voting Points any more in Nigeria.”
The electoral umpire also announced the dates for the Ekiti and Osun States governorship elections.
The two elections are slated to hold on Saturday June 18, 2022 for Ekiti State, while the Osun State Governorship election will hold one month later on Saturday 16th July 2022.
In his remarks at the unveiling ceremony, INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, said; “the history of creating and expanding Polling Units in Nigeria has been long and complex. Their adequacy and accessibility in terms of number and location across the country were some of the challenges that had to be addressed in the interest of credible elections.”
According to him, “before 2010, the Commission operated on a round figure of approximately 120,000 Polling Units. However, a census undertaken by the Commission before the 2011 General Election arrived at the precise figure of 119,973 Polling Units. The Commission also made efforts to relocate many Polling Units from inappropriate places such as private residences and properties, palaces of traditional rulers and places of worship to public buildings accessible to voters, polling agents, observers and the media during elections.”