The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in a statement issued by Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, Chief Press Secretary to its Chairman said it is yet to create additional polling units but agreed they were still toying with the idea of doing so.
Oyekanmi explained that the commission received 3,789 requests nationwide for the creation of new polling units.
He said, “in response to the requests, the commission directed its Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to thoroughly assess and provide it with information on new settlements not served or inadequately served by existing polling units.”
INEC made this revelation in reaction to an allegation made by Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday that INEC had plans to create 30,000 additional polling units in some remote areas in order to compromise the outcome of the 2019 general elections.
He added that “the commissioners were also to provide information on areas with natural barriers that hinder access to existing polling units; as well as areas that were distant from existing polling units.”
“The RECs are also to assess and provide information on areas affected by communal and other conflicts that make voting in existing polling units unsafe for voters,“ he said.
He said that the commission is still waiting for these reports from the various Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) across the country.
According to him, “It is these reports and the information they contain that will be collated and carefully examined by the commission in order to determine what changes may be necessary in the current polling units profile of the country”.
The commission, according to the statement, assured the public that its decisions and actions shall always be guided by the provisions of the extant laws and its determination to respond to requests by Nigerians to serve them better.
“Therefore, the insinuation that the commission intends to create 30,000 new polling units to compromise the 2019 General Elections is false, misleading, unfounded and should be disregarded.”
He said that the creation of more polling units would be done only after full consultation with all stakeholders.
Whatever the true intention of INEC national leadership is on this allegation, the electoral public or electorate or people or citizens are already on the high alert and INEC may do well to thread softly and not confirm their fear of a possible conspiracy theory.