INEC uncovers polling units sited in shrines, forests, others

AS the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) continues its review of the voters’ registration exercise nationwide, the electoral body has uncovered several polling units sited at shrines, thick forests and residences of politicians in Anambra and Rivers states.
Meanwhile, the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) has said the inconclusive parts of the local council election held some months ago would be conducted on October 22 into the eleven wards of Esan North East Local Council.
Addressing a press conference Monday, chairman of EDSIEC, Solomon Ogor, told journalists that elections would also be concluded in six wards across four councils which include Ward six in Etsako Central, Wards three and four in Etsako West, Wards nine and eleven in Ovia North-East and Ward Eight in Uhunmwonde local councils.
INEC initiated the Continuous Voters Registration (CTR) with the aim of authenticating the list and credibility of voters, as well as accommodate voters who have relocated to new bases since the 2011 general elections.
The sitting of polling units at shrines and other unexpected places was revealed by the chairmen of some states independent electoral commissions at the knowledge sharing conference which INEC held with chairmen of states electoral commissions yesterday in Abuja, where the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, urged them to ensure that the knowledge gathered at the workshop guide them towards conducting credible elections in the various states and the FCT.
Jega, who assured that the commission will be working in partnership with the state electoral commissions to relocate all the polling units in the shrines and evil forests for smooth conduct of the 2015 elections, noted that the meeting was unique because it brought together election managers at the national and local levels.
Jega said INEC has resolved to hold regular engagements with critical stakeholders as it prepares for the conduct of the 2015 general elections.
The INEC chairman, who insisted that credible local council elections must constitute the foundation of any credible democracy in the country, noted that the commission fully recognises that whatever effort that is being made to improve the quality of elections at the national level would have little effect unless the quality of elections at the local council level also improves.
Confirming the uncovering of the polling units in Anambra State, the Acting Chairman of the Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC), Okonkwo Sylvester, stated that the units were located at Onitsha North, Ogbaru and Oyi Local Councils.
His Rivers State counterpart, Mrs. Dakoro, confirmed that some polling units were sited in shrines and other hidden areas.