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INEC Defends Allocation of New Polling Units To North

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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said on Wednesday that more 21, 615 polling units will be allocated to the North ahead of the 2015 election, based on the existing number of registered voters in the region.

INEC has also proposed an additional 8, 412 polling units for the south which will bring the total number in the country to 150, 000 from 119,973, to cater for the 70,383,427 registered voters.

Some southern leaders, had rejected the proposal which they say is biased against the people of the south and denotes a political conspiracy to disenfranchise the people of the region.

Defending the position of the commission, its chairman, Attahiru Jega, said the electoral body’s plan is “sincere and well-intentioned,” and not designed to confer any political advantage on any individual, political party or region.

He said the decision of the commission to re-configure the structure of the existing polling units and create additional ones was driven by the collective aspirations of Nigerians to reform and improve upon the electoral process for free, fair, peaceful and credible elections in 2015 and beyond.

Jega stressed that there was no sectional or parochial agenda in the decision aimed at easing the access of voters to the ballot box by decongesting over crowded polling units, adding that the need factor more than political sentiments, informed the patterns of distribution of the polling units being proposed.

He explained that since polling units are created to service registered voters, the fairest and most logical criterion to use in distributing the 150,000 Polling unitss nationwide is the number of registered voters.

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