The Polling Units of Nigeria: The View from 33,000ft

Posted on: September 18th, 2014

Nziko, Nteje, Oyi Local Government Area, Anambra State Narayi, Kaduna South Local Government Area, Kaduna

 

Consider the first picture above. It is the satellite image of a green, forested, sparsely populated area. The three icons imposed on the satellite picture indicate the location of the three polling units in the area covered.

Consider the second picture as well. It is the satellite image of a heavily built-up, densely populated area. There are no location icons imposed on that second picture because there are no polling units in the area covered.

The first picture is the satellite image of Nziko, Nteje, in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra state. The second image, taken at the same resolution as the first, is of Narayi in Kaduna South Local Government Area, Kaduna.

Nziko is in Anambra, a state with the highest number of registered voters in the South East zone. Although under the new arrangement being proposed by INEC Anambra gets only 121 additional polling units, the 4,608 existing polling units and the total of 1,784,536 registered voters mean Anambra has the lowest polling unit congestion in the entire South East zone, an average of 377 voters-per-polling-unit.

As a matter of fact, Anambra is the third most convenient place to be a voter nationwide, under the new arrangements proposed by INEC.

The top three most convenient states to be a voter are:

1. Ekiti which has an average of 297 voters-per-polling-unit

2. Bayelsa which has an average of 307 voters-per-polling-unit

3. Anambra which has an average of 377 voters-per-polling-unit

Now, note that the top three most challenging places to be a voter are:

1. FCT which has an average of 507 voters-per-polling-unit

2. Kaduna which has an average of 500 voters-per-polling-unit

3. Plateau which has an average of 499 voters-per-polling-unit

Narayi is in Kaduna, the second most challenging place to be a voter nationwide. Even though Kaduna gets 2,384 additional polling units under the new arrangement being proposed by INEC, the 5,101 existing polling units and the total of 3,743,815 registered voters mean Kaduna still has the second highest polling unit congestion in the entire country, an average of 500 voters-per-polling-unit.

Please, note that for the 1,784,536 and 3,743,815 total number of registered voters in Anambra and Kaduna respectively, INEC has the fingerprints of at least four fingers for every single person numbered in those 1,784,536 and 3,743,815.

Those are Nigerians, who stood in the sun, waited and waited to register on the DDC machines, and INEC is working with hard data, not armchair speculation, not the history your parents told you about the 1962/1963 census, or what your older sister told you about the 1991 census, or what you witnessed yourself in 2006.

We are talking real, verifiable, biometric data. Please, young Nigerians, don’t listen to those old people who cannot count or divide except it is stolen money, who cannot tell a Twitter handle from a Twitter hashtag – they are still living in 1971, the year they turned 40.

If we listen to such people and allow them mislead us, it would be said of Nigeria that the elders ate sour grapes but it was the children’s teeth that were set on edge.

All calculations based on figures taken from the attachments to the press statement published on the INEC website.

Satellite imagery made at WANGONeT’s booths finder.

On 17 September, 2014, I made my personal verification trip to Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra state. My trip to Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna state was made 24 September, 2014. From what I have seen on the ground, the arguments for the population density of both places is well supported.

By Adebiyi Olusolape

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