The apex Igbo Socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has rejected the allocation of Polling Units by the Independent National Electoral Commission, to States in Southern Nigeria.
It said the allocation of 10,000 more polling units to the north as against the South, had exposed the fraud in the system.
Spokesman for Ohanaeze, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, who spoke in an interview with one of our correspondents, in an telephone interview yesterday said, the allocation of 13,324 polling units to the Lagos State and 11,422 to Kano State whereas Kano had 44 Local Government Areas and Lagos 20 local government areas, had exposed the fraud in the system.
Ogbonnia said, “I just studied the demographic. Ohanaeze is not comfortable with the allocation of polling units because this is where the journey for 2023 begins. You have the whole south 23,655 booths and the North 93,102; the difference is almost 10,000.
“You can imagine 10,000 more to the north, like I said that is where the join for 2023 starts. Kano is getting 11,422 while Lagos is getting 13,324 polling booths.
“This has justified the people talking about local government creation being fraud. In kano we have 44 LGAs whereas we have 20 councils in Lagos.
“You can see this exposes the fraud about local government creation in Nigeria. Lagos is getting 13,325 polling booths whereas Kano is 11,222 polling units yet Lagos has 20 local government areas and Kano 44 local government creation.
“So, from what we are having now the whole South East is 21,631. Kano and Kastina alone have over 72,000 almost 81,000 polling units whereas the whole of the south east – Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia, Anambra and Imo put together is 21,631.
“For INEC to allocate 10,000 polling units more to the North than the South, is just the beginning of the next exercise and that’s why we are emphasizing on restructuring. If Nigeria is restructured, if you like you can give yourself 10 million polling units it is your business”.
Ohanaeze spokesman however noted that it has lost confidence in the current INEC. Also, the Pan Niger Delta Forum on its part, called President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly, to bequeath an amended Electoral Act to Nigerians. It also rejected the distribution of polling units by INEC to the Southern states arguing that it was a reflection of the lopsidedness and inequality in the Nigerian state in favour of the North.
National Publicity Secretary of PANDEF, Ken Robinson stated this in an with one of our Correspondents yesterday. Robinson said, “In one breadth Prof. Yakubu Mamood, said they created 56,000 polling units. In another breadth, he was saying it was the conversion of polling points and polling point settlements of 56,872 converting them to become polling units.
“So, we hope the situation is sincere. The ratio of the 19 Northern States to the 17 Southern States is about a difference of 5,500 polling units. The imbalance and the lopsidedness being perpetuated continues”.
Reacting to the development, the People’s Democratic Party said it has directed its 36 state chapters to take an inventory and assess the newly created PUs and forward a report to the National Headquarters.
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, and the directive was given shortly after INEC announced the creation of additional 56,872 polling units.
Ologbondiyan said this in an interview with one of our correspondents, in Abuja, yesterday. He said, “We have received information about the new polling units created by INEC ahead of the 2023 General Elections. We have asked our various state chapters to take an inventory and carry out an assessment of these units and report to the National Headquarters to enable us to take an informed decision.