The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has converted 1,015 voting points to polling units in Kwara.
Malam Garba Attahiru-Madami, the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), disclosed this in Ilorin on Saturday during a stakeholders’ meeting on “Expansion of voter access to polling units in Kwara”.
He added that access to polling units was very essential to increase numbers of voters during elections.
Attahiru-Madami lamented that Nigeria has never recorded over 35 per cent of voters during elections, whereas Ghana has recorded over 50 per cent of voters.
The REC said with the conversion of the 1,015 voting points, Kwara now has 2,887 polling units.
According to him, before the enumeration of the Registration Areas, there were 1,872 polling units in all the 16 local government areas of the state.
Attahiru-Madami said the 119,973 polling units in the country were created in 1996 to take care of 50 million voters.
According to him, INEC registered over 84 million voters for 2019 general elections, notding that the 119,973 polling units were grossly inadequate.
He was of the opinion that many eligible voters refused to vote on election day because of the distance of polling unit to their residences, resulting in apathy.
The REC added that converting voting points to polling units would reduce overcrowding of voters during election and also bring polling units closer to the people.
He noted that polling units can only be located in appropriate public places like town halls, community halls, health centres, court premises and open spaces.
Attahiru-Madami added that polling units cannot be sited at private homes, religious places, politicians’ residences, royal fathers’ homes and places of dispute.
He said INEC would continue to address the issue of polling units after the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) as the commission was targeting 120 million voters for 2023 elections.
The breakdown of the 2,887 polling units has Asa Local Government Area with 145 polling units, Baruten 230, Edu 175, Ekiti 76 and Ifelodun 236.
Ilorin East has 320 polling units while Ilorin South has 275, Ilorin West 464, Irepodun 158, Isin 80, Kaiama 124, Moro 142, Offa 173, Oke Ero 76, Oyun 108 and Patigi 105 polling units.
The REC assured stakeholders that the commission would do better in 2023 elections than what it did in 2019 elections that was adjudged the best in the country. Attahiru-Madami added that it would be fair, transparent and open to all. (NAN