For security reasons, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced on Friday that it will relocate some polling units in Katsina State.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Prof. Ibrahim Yahaya-Makarfi, confirmed this today, noting that the commission had identified some areas under security threats and hence, would provide safer locations as replacements to the polling units.
Speaking at a stakeholders forum in Katsina, the state REC said 357 Polling Units (PUs) would be affected.
Yahaya-Makarfi also noted that the relocation was necessary to allow all Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in the state to participate in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
He explained that the electoral Act 2022 has made clear and explicit provisions for the conduct of elections in emergency situations.
The electoral official said: “In specific terms, section 24 of the electoral act 2022 provides for the commission for as far as practicable to ensure that no persons displaced as a result of an emergency is disenfranchised.
“We will therefore, ensure that as far as is practicable, we would provide every eligible voter with the opportunity to exercise his franchise as provided by the law.
“We have been working closely with stakeholders and security agencies in constant evaluation of the situations in areas facing security challenges for strategic approach.
“We will ensure successful conduct of a free, fair, credible poll free from intimidation or molestation.”
Yahaya-Makarfi, therefore, called on Nigerians who have registered but did not collect their Permanent Voter Card (PVC) to do so, stressing that “No PVC no election”.
He said that the commission has created a timeline for the collection of the PVCs throughout the 34 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
Earlier in his presentation, the commission’s Head of Operations, Alhaji Hussain Jafar, said that out of the 34 LGAs in the state, 12 had been identified with security challenges.
He said: “And out of the 361 Registration Areas (RAs), there are 73 with security challenges, and finally, out of the 6,652 PUs, there are 357 with security challenges.
“All the necessary procedures for the relocation of the affected PUs have been provided and the commission has received some of the non-sensitive electoral materials.”