Senate Directs Jega To Suspend 30,000 New Polling Units Till After 2015 Election

SENATORS are to overrule Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman Attahiru Jega should he fail to reverse the proposed creation of additional 30,000 polling units.
The commission’s attempt to establish the polling units has received several knocks from Nigerians who have read ulterior motives to the move, especially ahead of the 2015 general elections.
INEC has been accused of unduly favouring some geopolitical zones in the number of new polling units allocated them to the detriment of others.
The Senate Committee on INEC wrote to the electoral umpire to suspend the plan until after the elections.
But Jega has continued to defend the proposal, saying it is meant to reduce the high number of voters in most polling units to manageable proportions during voting.
The chairman Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Andy Uba, told reporters in Abuja that the Senate would pass a resolution to stop the exercise if Jega fails to heed its advice.
Uba, who noted that the idea behind the creation of additional PUs was sound, however said the timing was wrong.
He said: “We have sent a letter to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, and we expressed our reservations over the planned creation of additional polling units across the country.
“What he is doing is good, but the timing is wrong. We are close to an election year and we have so many displaced people in the North Eastern part of the country. So where will the INEC put the new polling units?
“If they (INEC) continue with it (new polling centres), we will pass a resolution to overrule it. It is simple, and once we pass our resolution, is he going to go ahead and say he doesn’t care?
“There are consequences when you say you don’t care; that is what it is, but I know he (Jega) is a gentleman and he is a man who keeps to his words. We had a meeting and sent him a letter.
“He should know that his integrity, from what people are saying, is at stake, but that is not our business. And I don’t believe that he has anything in mind against anybody or anything.”
The lawmaker representing Anambra South explained that his committee intervened due to the timing of the exercise, even though the exercise is geared towards eliminating problems voters usually encounter at polling centres.
Uba added: “There are over 4000 registered voters in Wuse II in Abuja, for instance, and you know the inconvenience when 4000 people are expected to queue up in line.
“It is not possible for all of them to be accredited before voting would start. Many people will come and would be turned back.
“It (the exercise) is a good idea, but the timing is wrong.
Uba is confident that the amendment to the Electoral Act  will be concluded as soon as the Senate resumes from the Sallah break.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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