12th November, 2013
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has alerted voters in Anambra State to the creation of 1,973 extra polling units out of the existing 4,608 polling units in the state, bringing the total voting points to 6,581.
In a statement issued in Benin on Tuesday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the alert becomes necessary because INEC has not educated voters on the extra polling units, a few days before the election – a development that could either disenfranchise many voters or play into the hands of those who are already perfecting their rigging strategies.
It said the need to alert voters is further heightened by the fact that the extra polling units together account for over 800,000 votes.
”INEC, apparently in order to facilitate the accreditation and voting process on Saturday, has created these extra polling units from those that have in excess of 500 voters. This action in itself may not have diabolical undertone, especially because the extra polling units are expected to be located within the same place as the original ones and presided over by Assistant Presiding Officers.
”But in a situation where voters are not aware of this development, there is the risk that some dirty INEC officials could collude with unscrupulous and desperate politicians to move these extra units away from the location of the original ones for secret thumb-printing, thus disenfranchising over 800,000 voters and paving the way for the appropriation of such votes by vote thieves,” APC said.
The party therefore implored INEC to urgently give the creation of the extra polling units the necessary publicity; alert voters to the fact that the extra units will be at the same location as the original ones; ensure the deployment of adequate officials to man the extra units on Saturday and also make sure that enough voting materials are provided for them.
”INEC must be proactive, because lack of adequate personnel and materials for these extra polling units will create chaos on voting day. Therefore, adequate personnel must be trained to man the extra units, while voters must be educated so that they won’t be looking for where to vote on Saturday.
”They must be told that the extra voting unit created from any polling unit will not be taken outside the location of the original one. If the location is different, then something is wrong,” it said.
APC called on its members and supporters in the state to spread the news on the creation of the extra polling units, as well as the fact that the extra units are located within the same premises as the original ones.
”Every vote must count on Saturday, and every voter must be allowed to exercise his or her franchise. That is why we call on INEC to do everything humanly possible to ensure that no voter is disenfranchised. We also call on all voters, especially our members and supporters, to defend their votes,” the party said.