By; SULAIMAN AHMED MISAU, Katsina
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will establish more Voting Centres in the country to address growing population leading to over crowding during elections, its resident electoral Commissioner in Katsina State, Alhaji Ibrahim Zarewa has said.
He said the existing Polling Units have become inadequate at a result of Population growth, demographic shifts and growth of new Settlements and expansion of towns and villages.
He disclosed that, Polling Units were overcrowded during elections which brought delays, distributions, violence and apathy as well as some units make access very difficult for persons living with disability.
Alhaji Jibril Ibrahim Zarewa was speaking during a workshop for all the electoral officers (EOs) and Assistant Electoral officers (AEOs) of the INEC, Katsina state on expanding Vote Access to Polling Units (PUs) in Katsina.
Alhaji Ibrahim Zarewa said the workshop was the Second of such after that, for the heads of Electoral Operations of the 36 States and Federal Capital Territory on Friday, April 16, 2021, in Abuja. pointing out that, the aim of the workshop is to build capacity of the field officers as it was critical in the implementation of the process.
According to him, the current 119,973 Polling units in Nigeria, which were created in 1996(25 years ago) and have been the voting stations during the 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 General Elections, in spite of increase in voter population; from 53 million in 1999 to 85 million in 2019.
As for Katsina state, there are 4,902 polling units which catered for 2.7 million voters in 1999 and which increased to 3.3 million in 2019. adding that, it would certainly increase after the conclusion of the continuous Voter Registration (CVR) to be conducted later this year.
Alhaji Zarewa said consequently, INEC has made a wide spectrum of stakeholders in the electoral process such as the Political Parties, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the Media, Traditional and Religious leaders as well as the Security Agencies.
Alhaji Jibril Ibrahim Zarewa said the Commission would from June 28,2021, commence the process of Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) which would provide opportunity for new registration and those wishes to transfer their voting stations to do so.
He assured electoral stakeholders in Katsina state that, INEC would continue to engage them in order to further improve on the electoral process.