Malam Garba Attahiru-Madami, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kwara, says the commission will create more polling units ahead of the 2023 elections in the state.
Attahiru-Madami said this on Saturday in Patigi after he monitored the conduct of the by-election into the Patigi constituency seat at the state House of Assembly.
The commissioner, who said the commission was aware that some communities were far from their polling units, explained that the need to create additional units had been discussed at a meeting of the RECs.
According to him, the creation of more polling units will be done by our national body and that will be done before 2023 elections.
“We have discussed that in one of our RECs meeting and that will be done before 2023.
“But as at now, we have to do with what we have on the ground.
“I pity those people but there is nothing one can do right now. Definitely, we are going to create many polling units to make it closer to the people because we are here to serve the people,” he said.
Attahiru-Madami expressed satisfaction with the entire process of the election.
“The conduct is very good and peaceful. I must commend the electorate in Patigi. They conducted themselves peacefully.
“And I must give kudos to the politicians for keeping to their words because I have not heard of any violence from anywhere.
In Kpada, where I monitored 15 polling units out of about 22 units in the area, at the beginning, the turnout was very low but as time went by, it began to improve.
“Generally, the turnout is average from all places that I monitored. For instance for a polling unit that you would expect 700 voters, we are able to see like 250, 230 and sometimes 100.
“But the election is beautiful; Kwara has lived up to its billing, state of Harmony; state of peace,” he said.
He attributed the peaceful conduct of election to a lot of sensitisation by the commission.
He, however, identified lack of adequate time for parties to campaign was responsible for the average turnout.
This, he said, was due to the fact that the exercise was just a by-election that required a little time to conduct.
“This is a by-election conducted because somebody died. And it takes one month to mourn here and by electoral rules we must conduct by-election between 30 to 60 days.
“So, there is no much time for campaign, that may be one of the reasons as political parties were just given ten days to campaign and that may not be enough.
Attahiru-Madami advised whoever may lose in the election to re-strategise towards 2023 elections.
“In an election, there must be a winner and a loser. For the loser, that means he needs to restrategise for 2023 and see how he can come out better,” he said.