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Nigeria’s Electoral Commission Bans Voting In Religious Places Ahead of 2023 Elections

The INEC chief says the addition of polling units is part of plans for the 2023 general elections.

Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)   has said voting would no longer take place in religious places of worship across the country.

During a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, said the move was part of efforts to create more polling units ahead of the 2023 general elections.

According to a report by Premium Times, Yakubu announced the creation of additional 56, 872 polling units in the country.

He said Nigeria now has a total of 176,846 polling units from the initial 119,973, following the conversion of voting points and voting points settlement to full-fledged polling units.

The current 119,973 polling units, he noted, were last updated in 1996.

Yakubu said the commission had also removed 749 polling units from ‘inappropriate’ facilities including from shrines, mosques, churches, royal palaces, and private property.

“After wide ranging consultations with stakeholders and fieldwork by our officials, the 56,872 voting points and voting point settlements were converted and added to the existing 119,974 polling units,” Yakubu said.

“Of this figure, 232 were removed from private properties, 145 royal palaces, six Mosques, 21 Churches and nine Shrines. The remaining 336 Polling Units were relocated for various reasons which include distance, difficult terrain, congestion, communal conflict, new settlements and general insecurity.”

The INEC chief said the cancellation of the voting points would not take effect on the Anambra State governorship election slated for November 6, 2021.

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Aishat Babatunde

Aishat Babatunde heads the digital reporting desk. Before joining HumAngle, she worked at Premium Times and Nigerian Tribune. She is a graduate of English from the University of Ibadan.

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