Analysts Say Creation Of Additional Polling Units By INEC Is Unnecessary

Channels Television  
Updated September 13, 2014

inec_ballot_box 1Some analysts have expressed their reservation over the decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to create additional polling units ahead of the 2015 general elections, describing the process as unnecessary and untimely.

A legal practioner, Chima Nnaji, who was among a host of other guests, disagreed that the INEC Chairman’s claim that the introduction of the units is for the good of the voter, insisted that “the voter will be ultimately imperiled by the arrangement”.

Citing statistics, Public Affairs Analyst, Bala Zakka, agreed with Mr Nnaji, saying “Jega is right on paper, but when it comes to the practical realities on the ground, based on certain things that have happened in Nigeria; based on sectors that have come out with creativity and innovation and ended up failing, there will be a need to review the framework”.

However, Social Commentator, Oscar Onwudiwe, went a step further saying that the process should be “abandoned totally not discussing review.

First of all, I think Jega may mean well, but he lost something called sensitivity”, adding that “in this country politics is everything and politics being everything, people are sensitive”.

Mr Onwudiwe urged the electoral umpire to “focus on the continuous voter registration exercise.

“Forget the success recorded in the state elections we have witnessed but when it comes to the general elections, we do know that materials will not get to certain places. So why are you increasing polling units?, he asked, advising Jega “to manage it for now and do your re-organisation, throw it out for people to contribute and discuss; don’t just come out and say this will be the new regulation”, he warned.

Professor Attahiru Jega has however justified the creation of over 30, 000 polling units across the country.

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, Jega argued that contrary to the belief that the action was motivated by mischief, INEC arrived at the decision in order to improve the electoral process ahead of the 2015 general election.

However, Jega maintained that the action was taken in the interest of the country and that it was only being misinterpreted based on the general level of mistrust.

He explained that the additional polling units would de-congest overcrowded polling units, situate polling units at proper places and encourage other factors that could ensure the smooth conduct of the forthcoming election.