Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will continue with preparation to conduct the poll and other terminal elections, In spite of the heightened insecurity situation across the country,
The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, Barr. Festus Okoye made the declaration yesterday, during a stakeholders’ meeting on polling units in Kano.
Okoye said the commission has fixed February 18, 2023, for the presidential election while promising to release the timetable for the National Assembly and governorship elections in November this year.
The chairman who also responded to concern raised by stakeholders if INEC will hold elections in places where there is cases of insurgency, kidnapping and other security threats, insisted that the electoral body was not in control of security architecture of the country, adding that the commission will forge ahead with preparation for the conduct of elections as entrusted by the Constitution.
The National Commissioner explained that the commission is set to create a conducive atmosphere for Nigerians to exercise their civic responsibility and noted that an improved security situation can only be guaranteed by the concerned agencies with the support of Nigerians.
Okoye revealed that the creation of additional polling units across the country was in line with electoral act to decongest voting units with more than 5,000 voters.
Meanwhile, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, INEC, Kano, Professor Riskuwa Arabu Shehu, had earlier said that 3,148 additional polling units were created within the 44 councils of the state.
He said Kano State currently has 5,457,747 registered voters with 8,074 already existing polling units.
Similarly, the Bauchi State INEC has also created an additional 1,349 polling units across the 20 councils of the state to ease bottlenecks during casting of votes and ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocol.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Alh. Ibrahim Abdullahi, said all existing 174 expanded polling units are to be confirmed as polling units, in addition to the proposed new ones to ensure every one cast their vote with conveniece, and as well adhere to COVID-19 preventive protocol.
It would be noted that as of the 2019 general election, the state had a total of 2,462,843 registered voters, 212 registration areas comprising 4,074 polling units as well as 1,349 convertible polling units, which have been recommended for upgrading and relocation as the case may be.