By Abiodun Esan
The resident electoral commissioner (REC) of INEC in Kwara, Malam Garba Attahiru-Madami, informed Ilorin on Monday by declaring a two-day open training on “the implementation of the widening of access. voters at polling stations ”.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the training was intended for Election Officers (EO) and Election Assistants (OAS) responsible for the administration, operations and registration areas of clusters from the 16 areas of local administration of Kwara.
Attahiru-Madami said voting points in all voting units would be expanded to voting units to make them accessible to the population.
He noted that many eligible voters refused to vote on election day due to the distance between polling stations and their residence.
CER told participants that training was very important for INEC, just as elections were important, adding that without a voting unit there would be no election.
“The elections start from the voting unit, if there is no voting unit, there would be no election and collation, that’s how the unity of voting is important, ”he added.
He therefore instructed the participants to take the training very seriously because the result of the training would give them the opportunity to know what they would be doing in the field.
“I don’t need to stress again why access to polling stations is so important. We already know that this exercise was carried out in 1996 and that it was to serve 50 million voters.
“In the 2019 election, we have a greater number of voters of 84 million; you can see that the polling stations are now clearly insufficient.
“By the time the general election is held in 2023, our projection is to have over 120 million voters.
“The number of voting units we have right now cannot serve the 120 million voters, so training is very important,” he said.
According to the CER, one of the reasons for voter apathy is that the voting unit was not accessible to them.
He said some polling units had more than 1,000 to 5,000 voters spread across the polling stations.
“So we want to see how we can convert some of these voting points into voting units to meet the needs of the people on election day.
“In some communities facing community clashes, having their own polling station would resolve such a conflict, because you will see a villager who will say, I will not go to this village to vote,” he added.
He said the idea of expanding the polling stations was to remove voter apathy and reduce the distance between home and the polling station. (NOPE)
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