The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it discovered 19 illegal polling units in Akwa Ibom State.
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Mike Igini, made the disclosure yesterday at Enlarged Stakeholders’ Forum in Uyo, the state capital.
The REC said the illegal polling units were in Obot Akara and Uyo Local Government Areas (LGAs), adding that that some of the polling units were located in hotels, church, mosques among others.
He said the INEC found the polling units concerned were located in violation of its guidelines; therefore there was the need to relocate and rename some polling units in the state.
Igini, however, urged the people not to see the relocation of the polling units as a creation of new polling units, stressing that that no new polling units had been created.
He said the essence of the forum was “to enable us see face to face and interact freely. “
“We are here to present the commission electoral plan and strategic implementation plan, hear from you and carefully consider the concerns and ideas of everyone on how we can serve you better,” he said.
The REC cautioned politicians who might have plans to rig the 2019 general elections to desist because INEC of today has evolved beyond rigging.
Igini said INEC had “advanced to a level where everything is tracke
“We must conduct an election that will be accepted by the people without recourse to the tribunals. We have done it elsewhere and we will do it here.
“You are going to have little or minimal petitions. Election is a time where the independence and integrity of institutions like INEC, security agencies and judiciary are tested.”
He also said the forum was organised as an opportunity to engage stakeholders of all political persuasions and have a robust engagement.
The REC advised leaders of political parties in the state to talk to their party members the need for them conduct ensuring strict adherence to the code of conduct of the electoral acts.
He stressed the need for political parties to commence the process of identifying committed party members to serve as agents during the general elections.