THE Independent National Electoral Commission, has announced plans to increase the number of polling units in Rivers State from 4,442 to 6,866 with the creation of additional 2,424 units.
It also explained that security agencies were responsible for their operatives who lost their lives during election duties.
The Rivers State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Oboh Effanga, said this during an interactive session with journalists, at the commission’s office, in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
On the planned establishment of more polling units in the state, Effanga explained that Rivers State currently has 4, 442 polling units which he described as inadequate.
He said, “Based on the lower threshold of 500 and upper threshold of 750 determined by the commission for the conversion of voting points to polling units, INEC looked to convert 2, 424 voting points in the state to fully fledged polling units.
“When these new proposed polling units are verified by the commission, the total number of polling units in River State will be 6,866. Those numbers, we believe would be adequate to serve the 3, 215,273 registered voters in the state.”
Speaking on the issue of policemen who lose their lives during elections, he said, “Every police man is the responsibility of the Nigeria Police Force, primarily. When we carry out our activities, we invite the police; they have the primary responsibility for security.
“Not only the police, other security agencies are also part of this, and I know that there is insurance for police personnel. So, if something happens to them in the line of their duty, police see that as something that happened to them in the line of their policing duties.
“Policing duty could mean policing at any event, including at elections. So, INEC does not take responsibility for them.
“In the last election, here in Rivers State, we had two deaths of our ad hoc staff, and their families were compensated because there is an insurance that covers that.”