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The leadership of the Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly has rejected the new polling units announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
One of its leaders Rev. Bolanle Gbonigi lambasted Independent National Electoral Comission Chairman Prof Attahiru Jega for the creation of 30.000 additional polling units throughout the country.
They said the alleged arbitrary allocation of the units, with the North getting 21,615 while the South, got 8,412, was not acceptable.
Also speaking, another leader of the Assembly, Chie Edwin Clark alleged that the allocation was more of a political conspiracy by the INEC against southern Nigeria.
He said, “We view with worries the significant differences between the number of new polling units allocated to the whole of the southern zones, (SouthWest: 4,160, South-South 3,087 and South-East: 1,167) a total of 8,414 which is less that the figure of the North-West alone (7,906) added to the FCT (1,120) totaling 9,026.
“Or even more so the number allocated to the South-South zone (3,087), which is less than half of that allotted to the North-West zone.
“ Then, that of the South-East (1,167) which is less than a quarter of any of the northern zones (North-West: 7,906, North-East: 5,291, and the North-Central: 6,318.
“I repeat, all of these are not reflective of any historical data or any significant statistical data change to inform such radical disparity in the arbitrary allocation of the polling units to the respective zones.
“For instance, the whole of the South-West with Lagos, the most populated state in terms of eligible voters in the country added all other South-West states, is allotted less than any northern zone, a position not supported by any scientific or proven data.”
He said he viewed “this insensitive assault on our collective sensibilities gravely worrisome and demanding of our urgent proportionate action. No amount of explanation will be acceptable to the voters of Southern Nigeria.”
Gbonigi, the chairman of the Yoruba Unity Forum who was represented by Senator Femi Oluroumu said the sharing formula favoured the North. He added that INEC’s decision to allocate more additional polling units to the North lacked any logic or wisdom particularly with lower voter turnout at previous elections and the massive exodus of citizens from many of the troubled parts of the North.
“The commission has exceeded its mandate by restructuring the number of polling units nationwide. Furthermore, it wrote for itself the rules when it decided to restructure the number of polling units in each state using 15 per cent equality of states and 85 per cent promotional representation.”