As part of efforts not to disenfranchise anyone during the upcoming general election, the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has revealed that plans are underway to make provisions for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across the country.
Naija News reports that the commission’s Chairman, Board of Survey and Technical Committee on Equipment Acquisition, Mohammed Haruna, disclosed the information to The Punch.
He said INEC was working on setting up voting centres for the displaced persons to ensure that no one was disenfranchised in 2023.
Haruna explained that even though INEC would conduct elections in IDP camps where they still exist, a different approach would be adopted for the internally displaced persons living in these communities considering the insecurity ravaging the country.
He, however, didn’t reveal a figure being planned for, but available reports indicate that the commission might be planning for about two million IDPs in various camps.
This development follows the call by the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom on INEC not to forget the over two million IDPs across the country.
Naija News reported on November 23 that Ortom, who made case for IDPs ahead of the general election, appealed to INEC to make adequate provisions such as the creation of polling units at IDP camps as well as engaging its members as ad-hoc staff during elections.
Ortom noted that “There is a need for government and INEC to ensure credibility of the electoral process.
“There is a lack of equity and justice in Nigeria. INEC needs to have comprehensive data on the IDPs so that they can create polling units for IDPs.”
Naija News understand that the INEC official also told Punch that ‘’The issue of people voting in IDP camps is complicated. When insecurity was essentially restricted to the Northeast ahead of the last general elections in 2019, it was easy to create IDPs camps. This time, however, many of the camps in the Northeast and the few elsewhere have closed and most of the displaced persons are dispersed inside communities away from where they registered.
‘’Besides, insecurity has now spread nationwide. We will conduct elections in IDP camps where they still exist. But for the internally displaced persons living in communities, we need a different approach. We will do our best to see that no one is disenfranchised.’’