The management of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has, ahead of the 2023 general elections, created a total of 1,235 new polling units in Imo State.
Announcing this development during a press conference in Owerri, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Professor Francis Ezeonu, explained that the new units emerged from the 3,523 existing polling units, based on a national threshold of 500-750.
His words: “In Imo State, a total of 1,235 new polling units have emerged from the 3,523 existing polling units, based on a national threshold of 500-750. This brings the total number of polling units in Imo State, to 4,758.
“The Local Government Area Electoral Officers have undertaken a painstaking exercise of identifying suitable public places for locating these new polling units and geo-referencing them, using Global Positioning System, GPS, coordinates.”
Ezeonu however, assured that in areas where there are no suitable places, the voting points will be converted to polling units and retained in their present location.
Ezeonu said: “It must be stated that the exercise was done purely on available data and approved guidelines.
“The Commission is undertaking a verification of this exercise and will, as soon as this is completed, compile the new polling units and publish their names and delineation data before the resumption of continuous voter registration exercise, scheduled to resume in June.”
Answering a question on the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, in the state, Professor Ezeonu said that they did everything possible to discharge the duty, except using proxie
His words: “We made frantic efforts to get people to collect their PVCs. We even got traditional rulers to help us but in the end, they wanted to share it themselves.
“The Commission rejected the request because PVCs are not distributed or collected by proxy.
“You are aware that some of our offices were burnt. We lost some PVCs to fire, not because of our negligence or incompetence.
“Our Orlu office was torched and when we conducted integrity test on the PVCs stored in the fireproof filing cabinet, we noticed that about 200 of them failed the test. We will replace them.”
Vanguard recalls that from the document made available to journalists, on the distribution of the new polling units, Owerri Municipal ranked first, with 122, followed by Owerri West with 117, while Onuimo local council area had only two new units.