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Nigeria Cuts Voting Sites Over "Insecurity"

FILKE: Nigeria polling station. Uploaded Feb.14, 2023

Nigeria's electoral commission head said on Monday that 240 polling centerss will not be used in upcoming February 25 elections, as no one had chosen them due to insecurity in the surrounding areas.

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman Mahmood Yakubu said Northeastern Taraba state, where Islamist insurgents have carried out attacks, and southeastern Imo state, the hotbed of separatist and gang violence, have the highest number of polling units where voting will not take place.

None of the more than eight million voters registered between 2021 and 2022 chose to vote in 240 of the new centers, while those already registered showed no interest in being moved to the new sites, he said.

"No new registrants chose the polling units and no voters indicated interest to transfer to them ... mainly for security reasons," Yakubu said.

When new voters register in Nigeria, they are allowed to choose a polling centre. Most people choose the nearest to where they live because movement is restricted by security agencies on election day.

Separatist and gang violence is a major concern for Nigerians when they vote on Feb. 25 for new members of parliament and for a successor to President Muhammadu Buhari.