INEC SEEKS MEDIA SUPPORT ON VOTER TRANSFER TO NEW POLLING UNITS
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has called for the support of the Media to sensitize registered voters on the need to take advantage of newly created Polling Units across the country, to request for transfer of their details to polling units nearest to them.
Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, made the call during the first Quarterly Consultative meeting with the Media, held at the Commission’s Headquarters, in Abuja, today.
He made the call on the backdrop of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) voter distribution statistics which indicates that 593 out of 2,822 (or 21%) Polling Units in the FCT do not have registered voters because according to the Chairman “voters failed to take advantage of the expansion of access to transfer to these new Polling Units”.
Prof. Yakubu said “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 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”.
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.”
The INEC Chairman further used the occasion to urge the media to continue to sensitise voters who had registered at any time previously not to register again.
He said the Commission was in the process of undertaking a 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 elections.
He assured that findings from the clean up will be shared with Nigerians as soon as the cleanup exercise was concluded “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.
In his response, President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Chris Isiguzo, joined other stakeholders in commending INEC for the successful conduct of the Anambra governorship election held November 6th, 2021. He said; “with the performance of INEC in Anambra governorship election conducted in November 2021, I can authoritatively say that INEC has brought integrity into the conduct of election in Nigeria”.
Represented by the Treasurer of the Union, Atunbi Bamidele, Comrade Isiguzo said; “We appeal that what INEC has done in Anambra governorship election, should be improved on in subsequent elections, especially in the Governorship elections in Ekiti, Osun governorship elections, and in the 2023 general elections”.
The NUJ Chairman stressed that support for INEC is ultimately support for Nigerian democracy. He said “as members of the 4th estate of the realm, let me assure you of one fact, we will continue to support INEC. Our support for INEC is not only for the Commission but also support for democracy and the development of our nation. We believe in Nigeria, and we will continue to believe in this country”.
“Our appeal will equally be that Nigerians should do everything possible as INEC continues to ensure that our votes count, we should do everything possible to support INEC as Nigerians and we should stop these destructive tendencies by destroying INEC facilities, we should protect our National assets”, the NUJ President implored.