FCT polls: No voting in PUs without voters – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned that it will not conduct election in any polling units (PUs) where there are no voters in the February 12 council polls in FCT.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, gave the warning Friday in Abuja during the 2022 first quarterly consultation meeting with media organisations.

He said that 593 out of 2,822 (or 21 per cent) of the total PUs in the FCT, do not have voters.

He said the warning also became imperative because voters failed to take advantage of the expansion of access to transfer to new PUs.

Yakubu said the media support was crucial to the success of the recent expansion of voter access to PUs for the first time in 25 years since the initial delimitation in 1996.

He said, “In the next 23 days that is 12th February, a major end of tenure election will hold in the FCT to elect six area council chairmen/chairwomen and 62 councilors.

“I want to draw your attention to the distribution of voters to PUs in the FCT, particularly the fact that 593 out of 2,822 (or 21 percent) of the total, do not have voters. This is because voters failed to take advantage of the expansion of access to transfer to these new PUs.”

He said no ballot paper, result sheet, any election materials, ad hoc staff or security personnel would be deployed to PUs without voters, saying “nobody will use them as miracle centres”.

He also said that INEC was now undertaking comprehensive cleaning up of the data from the ongoing Continuous Voter Register (CVR) to ensure that only eligible citizens were added to voters’ register for 2023 general election.

He said, “We will share our findings with Nigerians very soon. The actual dates for the collection of the PVCs nationwide will also be announced very soon.”

He said that INEC was ready for the FCT elections, and that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) would be deployed for the FCT elections and in all forthcoming elections across the country.

He said, “Similarly, for all elections going forward, Polling Unit results will be uploaded in real-time on the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) .portal.”

The President, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Chris Isiguzo, commended INEC performance in the Anambra governorship election, saying it has brought integrity into Nigeria elections.

Isiguzo, represented by the National Treasurer, Dele Atunbi, urged INEC to sustain the performance in subsequence elections, especially in Ekiti, Osun and FCT.

He assured INEC that the media would continue to support the commission to deepen Nigeria democracy and development.
He also urged the political class in Nigeria to reduce the rate of election litigations in the country.

“In 2019, election, we recorded 750 petitions on election alone. On appeal, we had 805 appeals. We want to appeal to the political class to be less litigious over electoral matters.

“You have the right to go to court. Let us take a cue from the people of Jigawa State. They did not litigate over any matter in the 2019 election.”