Friday, 17 October 2014

Group rejects INEC’s proposed polling units

The umbrella body of all Yoruba socio-cultural groups, Yoruba Unity Forum, on Thursday, kicked against the proposed creation of 30,000 polling units by the Independent National Electoral Commission, describing it as a plot designed to make southern Nigeria irrelevant in national elections.
The Deputy Chairman of the body, retired Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi, said this at the general meeting of the forum, at the Ikenne home of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Ogun State.
Gbonigi pointed out that the reconfiguration of the number of polling units in each state, which gave the North additional 22,000 units and about 8, 000 additional units to the South was unacceptable.
He said, “It is a fraudulent way of manipulating the outcome of the elections by some desperate politicians.”
In order to ensure equity and fairness, the body called on INEC to, as a matter of urgency, reverse the exercise in the overall interest of the nation.
YUF described the exercise as one of the strategies by northern politicians designed to create a bank of votes for the North to deploy during presidential elections or when a referendum was needed to decide fundamental national issues.
He said, “As the 2015 general elections draw closer, we are beginning to witness manoeuvrings by desperate politicians from some parts of the country aimed at fraudulently manipulating the outcome of the elections. The forum was compelled in September to respond to a new threat from the northern political class.
“This plot was designed to marginalise southern Nigeria and make it totally irrelevant in national elections by instigating INEC to create additional polling units.”
The matriarch of the Awolowo family, Chief HID Awolowo, said the Yoruba must forge a common front and embrace unity.