Yiaga Africa raises concerns over newly created polling units in Anambra

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…Calls on INEC to sanction Mr Comfort Omorogie for conniving with political actors to falsify electoral result as deterrent

By Chibuike Nwabuko

Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Yiaga Africa has raised concerns over the newly created polling units in Anambra State, stressing that it failed to substantially decongest polling units with high numbers of registered voters.

According to Yiaga Africa, INEC created the new polling units to reduce the number of registered voters at each polling unit so polling units are more accessible to voters and easy to manage on election day. It however observed with dismay that in the new polling units configuration, there are over 750 registered voters in 963 polling units. In extreme cases, there are over 3,000 registered voters per polling unit.

Yiaga Africa noted that these polling units pose a major challenge for crowd control and effective management on Election Day. Among the 1,112 newly created polling units, 15.6%have less than 49 voters registered at each of the polling units, which reflects the significant  disparities between the size of polling units.

Yiaga Africa reminded that these inconsistencies question the reliability and accuracy of the Commission’s framework for the expansion of polling units.

Also, Yiaga Africa has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to sanction Mrs Comfort Omorogie, who was the Electoral Officer (EO) of Orumba North for her alleged involvement in the falsification of result, to act as deterrent to other INEC Officials.

Yiaga Africa made the call on Monday at a press briefing while delivering it’s preliminary report on the 2021 Anambra gubernatorial election to newsmen in Abuja.

On the supplimentary election scheduled to hold tomorrow in Ihiala local government area, Yiaga urged INEC to publish the total number of Permanent Voters Card (PVC) collected in that area and inform the public on the status of uncollected PVCs.

It called on INEC to undertake an audit of the BVAS and ensure that all the technological glitches with the device are resolved ahead of the supplementary elections to prevent delays and possible disenfranchisement of voters.

Yiaga Africa while condemning the late commencement of election due to logistics issues, asked INEC to terminate its contractual relationship with road transport unions, especially those notorious for breach of contractual obligations. In addition to termination, INEC should seek legal remedies against transporters who are liable for breach of contract, Yiaga Africa stressed.

Further more, Yiaga Africa tasked INEC to maintain nonpartisan and professional conduct in the Nov 9, 2021 supplementary election.

In it’s reaction to the security threat in some communities in Ihiala LGA, YAWV implored security agencies to ensure strategic deployment to flashpoints polling units in Ihiala to guarantee the safety of voters, polling officials and materials during the supplementary election. Adding that all security personnel involved in gross misconduct and electoral fraud, especially the involvement of police officers in the reported incident in Orumba North LGA should be investigated and prosecuted.

In deepening democracy and building confidence in the democratic process, Yiaga Africa called on the National Assembly to without further delay, conclude the amendment to the Electoral Act and transmit the electoral bill to the President for assent.

Yiaga Africa therefore called on the people of Anambra to be peaceful and reject any calls for violence as INEC prepares to conduct a supplementary election in Ihiala on Tuesday, November 9.

Sundiata Post recall that the Returning Officer (RO) of Orumba north local government areas yesterday accused Mrs Comfort of compelling him to declare false result under duress.