INEC called out the PDP spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, for continuing to insist that the electoral commission is planning to establish 30,000 polling units for IDPs in foreign countries.
INEC stated that it is not a political party and implored Ologbondiyan to stop engaging in hate speech; for the good of the country and democracy Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has stated that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is putting the lives of its staff at risk.
No Diaspora/Out-of-Country Voting in 2019 General Elections.
The attention of INEC has been drawn to a report by a section of the media which gave false impression that d Commission has “made special provisions for IDPs outside Nigeria to vote in d 2019 Elections… pic.twitter.com/wmD4oiNyM5
— INEC Nigeria (@inecnigeria) December 13, 2018
Naija news Understands that INEC made the comment in reaction to the opposition party’s allegation that the electoral commission’s plan to create polling centers in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Chad and Niger Republic was a plot hatched in connivance with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the elections, Vanguard reports.
Naija News learnt that INEC immediately took objection to the accusation and described it as hate speech, which it said is capable of putting its permanent and ad hoc staff at risk during the elections.
Rotimi Oyekanmi, chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, stated:
“The story about the possibility of so called Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) located in Chad and Niger republic voting in the 2019 general elections was as a result of a misrepresentation of facts by a newspaper in its story on the Validation Conference in respect of the Framework for Voting for Internally Displaced Persons, held on 12th December in Abuja, for which the commission had to promptly issue a rebuttal.
“Everybody knows that displaced persons living in foreign countries cannot be regarded as IDPs but refugees and there is no provision in our laws for any Nigerian living outside Nigeria to vote during the 2019 general elections.
“But Kola Ologbondiyan has continued to insist that the commission is planning to establish 30,000 polling units and give the so-called IDPs in foreign countries the opportunity to vote in the general elections.
“What this man is doing, by implication, is to put the lives of INEC permanent and adhoc staff, especially the young National Youth Service Corps members at risk during the 2019 general elections with his continuous portrayal of the Commission as untrustworthy and fraudulent.
“This is not what Nigerians need at this time. This is certainly not the way to be an excellent spokesperson. “INEC is not a political party. The commission is not planning to establish any new polling units anywhere. Our only interest is to conduct free, fair and credible general elections in 2019 and we require the cooperation of all stakeholders, including political parties, to achieve this objective.
“My strong advice to Kola Ologbodiyan is that he should stop what I can safely describe as hate speech against INEC, for the good of the country and democracy.