By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Abuja, Feb. 16, 2021 Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to convert existing voting points and voting point settlements into Polling Units(PUs).
Murtala Aliyu, Secretary-General, ACF, gave the advice after a presentation by INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu at the ACF headquarters in Kaduna, which coincided with the forum’s statutory meeting.
Mr Nick Dazang, INEC Director, Voter Education and Publicity, said this in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
Dazang said that the ACF adviced INEC to use its powers in Section 42 of the Electoral Act (as amended) to create Polling Units.
Responding, Yakubu said that INEC would consult further before taking action, pointing out that even though the National Assembly had the power to make laws, it still hold public hearings before taking decisions.
Yakubu said that creating Polling Units in the past by fiat and without consultations resulted in debacles and controversies which the Commission wanted to avoid.
“ This is a democracy and there is a place for consultation in a democracy,” he said.
Yakubu said that INEC had received more than 9,000 requests from communities across the country for the creation of polling units.
He said, however, that those requests were unsolicited and that they would not form the basis for the creation of polling units.
The INEC chairman said the commission will hold similar consultations with other sociocultural organisations like Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo to harvest their inputs.