Anambra: Elections won’t hold in 86 polling units, as Civil Defence deploys 20,000 personnel -GCFRNG

Anambra: Elections won’t hold in 86 polling units, as Civil Defence deploys 20,000 personnel -GCFRNG

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said it will not deploy electoral materials and personnel to 86 of the 5,720 polling stations in Anambra state during the November 6 governor’s election.

INEC President Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who revealed this Friday in Abuja in a special consultative meeting with political parties, said that there are still no registered voters in the affected units.

The revelation came as the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, also announced the deployment of 20,000 officers and men to complement sister security agencies and ensure a free, fair and credible election in the state.

Corps Commander General Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Audi revealed this yesterday in Abuja in his keynote address at the opening of a 3-day “Election Workshop and Training of Trainers Training” in preparation for the Anambra elections.

“There are flash points. The Corps, in collaboration with other Security Agencies, has developed strategies to checkmate any act of electoral violence and other nefarious activities capable of undermining the electoral process. Any act of sabotage and negative tendencies to thwart democracy and good governance in these elections will be dealt with severely.

“The risk factors associated with the elections have been compounded by other security threats such as the kidnapping of separatist agitators (IPOB, ESN), massacre, theft of ballot boxes and electoral fraud. To ensure effective monitoring before, during and after the election, the NSCDC will deploy 20,000 officers and men to conduct the election.

“The personnel to be deployed for this national assignment will be recruited from all South-South and Southeast State Commands to join their counterparts in Anambra state. Additionally, personnel from Kogi, Ekiti, Ondo and Benue have been put on hold in case reinforcements are needed.

“The Corps will deploy officers from the Special Forces, such as the Arms Brigade Unit, the Counter-Terrorism Unit, the Anti-Vandalism Unit, the Intelligence and Investigations Unit, the Canine Unit, the SWAT Unit, the Explosives Unit and Biological Chemical Radiology (CBRNE) to all key points in the State to protect lives and property, sensitive and non-sensitive electoral materials, INEC officials and all critical assets against vandalism, damage or arson attacks, ”said Dr. Audi.

While the elections will not be held in 86 voting units, INEC said it would nevertheless conduct the exercise in other units, including 894 voting units that have fewer than 50 registered voters.

Yakubu said; “Three weeks ago, the Commission published the voter registration for the Anambra Governor election on October 7, 2021, that is, 30 days before the election as required by law. Each of the 18 political parties received an electronic copy of the registry.

“In addition to complying with the requirement of the law, the filing of the record is significant for another reason. The Anambra Governorate election will be the first in which voting has taken place in voting units since the recent successful conversion of voting points stemming from the expansion of voter access to voting units in Nigeria. 1,112 additional voting units were established in Anambra state, in addition to the 4,608 existing locations. This brings the total number of polling stations in the state to 5,720.

“Voters were encouraged to take the opportunity of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise to move to the new voting units that are most convenient for them. Many did not. This can be attributed in part to the security situation in the State that has affected the Commission’s outdoor activities prior to the elections, including voter education and awareness. It is understandable that voters have also been more circumspect in requesting transfer to electoral units.

“At the same time, the Commission did not use its powers under Section 42 of the Electoral Law of 2010 (as amended) to assign voters to the new electoral units in order to minimize disruptions that may occur from such a decision in view of the next election for governor.

“Consequently, of the 5,720 voting units in Anambra state, 86 (1.5%) have no voters. For that reason, the Commission will not deploy personnel and materials to these electoral units. In addition, 894 (15.6%) of the polling stations have between 1 and 49 voters. The election will take place in these voting units. We will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure that all Electoral Units have assigned voters prior to the 2023 General Election. “

He said the Commission has moved all non-sensitive materials for the election to the 21 local government areas of the state.

“As usual, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is handling the delivery of sensitive materials to the state on time. Our state office in Awka is arranging for interested parties to inspect the materials at the CBN facility in Awka. As is the case in all elections, sensitive materials are transferred under security escort to each Local Government Area from where they are distributed to the Registration Areas or Pavilions and finally to the Electoral Units on the day of the elections ”, said Yakubu .

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Anambra: Elections won’t hold in 86 polling units, as Civil Defence deploys 20,000 personnel -GCFRNG

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