By Kelvin Ohoror
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has created 2,239 new polling units in Delta State for the conduct of future elections.
The state INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Pastor Monday Udoh-Tom, disclosed this during a stakeholders meeting on Monday, May 10, in Asaba.
He said the creation of additional units became imperative to decongest the voting environment and allow every electorate to exercise their franchise under a conducive atmosphere.
The commissioner said that following the creation of the additional polling units, Delta State now has a total of 5,863 voting points spread across the 25 local government areas of the state.
According to Pastor Udoh-Tom:
”Currently the number of polling units in the state is 3,624 and the preliminary numbers of the new polling units stands at 2,239.”We have new settlements developing every day, besides some of the polling units were located in places where they were not supposed to be.”For instance, some were located in shrines, religious houses and even private residence.”The idea of creating additional polling units is to make sure that such polling units are pulled out and located in accessible places where voters can easily come out and cast their votes”.
Udoh-Tom recalled that INEC had announced plans to expand voters access to polling units through the conversion of voting points to polling units.
He said, ”To give effect to the pronouncement, the commission in Delta from April 11, mobilised to field across all the 25 local government areas of the state to carry out this exercise”.
He, therefore, assured the stakeholders that the commission would do all that is permissible in law to do justice to all.
Meanwhile, the representatives of political parties, civil society organisations and security agencies commended INEC for the initiative and expressed hope that the initiative would help to improve subsequent elections in the country.
On his part, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, commended INEC for the initiative in creating more polling units.
The speaker, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr. Ebenezer Okorodudu, said that creating more polling units would decongest voting centres across the state.