By Chinwe Ogbuka, Assistant Director, Publicity
The Independent National Electoral Commission Youth Ambassadors (IYAs) have unanimously resolved to support the Commission in its plan to convert existing Voting Points (VPs) and Voting Point Settlements (VPSs) to Polling Units (PUs).
They made the resolution on Friday, 5th March 2021 at the end of a Virtual Consultative Meeting between them and the Commission.
The resolution is contained in a Communique issued at the end of the meeting and signed on behalf of the Commission by the Chairman, Outreach and Partnerships Committee (OPC) of INEC, Dr. Adekunle Ladipo Ogunmola and Mr. Alex Kool Ibeh who signed on behalf the Ambassadors.
In the Communique, the Ambassadors said that they are of the strong view that “such an effort will address the congestion in existing Polling Units as well as serve areas across the country which do not have PUs.”
The Ambassadors observed that the existing 119,973 Polling Units created in 1996 to serve a population of projected 50 million would not be adequate for a voting population of over 84,004,84 in 2023.
While observing that since 1996, no Polling Units were created, the Ambassadors said that the non-creation of Polling Units has led to congestion of existing ones and non-availability of PUs in large areas across the country.
The Ambassadors also said though in the interim, the Commission attempted to create Baby Units, Voting Points and Voting Points Settlements, those measures did not address the challenges of crowded Polling Units.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Commission’s Outreach and Partnership Committee, Dr. Ogunmola made a presentation on the determination of the Commission to expand Voter Access to Polling Units.
In attendance at the Virtual meeting were a member of OPC, National Commissioner May Agbamuche-Mbu, Director, Voter Education, Publicity, Gender and Civil Society Liaison, (VEP), Mr. Nick Dazang, Deputy Director, (CSOs), Mrs. Dorothy Lakunuya Bello, Deputy Director, Publicity, Mr. Andy Ezeani, INEC Youth Ambassadors and other Directing and Staff of the Department.