IDPs may vote in camps in 2023 if security fails to improve – Niger, REC

a idp x
a idp x

The Niger State Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has disclosed that the Internally Displaced Persons in fourteen local government areas may cast their votes in the IDP camps should security challenges confronting the state fail to improve before the 2023 general elections.

Addressing stakeholders at the Commission’s headquarters in Minna, the state Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Sam Egwu said the highest of no go areas due to insecurity are in Shiroro and some parts of Munya Local Government Areas.

He said the Commission was already working to replace the PVCs for IDPs who have lost their PVCs and to also register those who have not registered before.

“The commission is committed to inclusive elections, hence the need to factor how to make the IDPs eligible to vote. INEC already has a policy for IDP voting, and we are calling for support and cooperation from political parties and other stakeholders to achieve the results,” he stated.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner also revealed that a total of 1, 765 new polling units have been created in addition to the existing 3, 186 in the state, adding that some polling units would be depopulated before the elections.

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Egwu further urged leaders of political parties to cooperate with the commission to ensure smooth implementation of the electoral process in the state.

Earlier, the Head of Department, Operations, Mohammed Babatunde Yusuf disclosed that eligible voters from 270 polling units have been completely displaced from their homes of which 46 polling units were from Munya LGA, Mariga LGA (100 polling units), Shiroro LGA (62 Polling units) and Rafi LGA has 62 Polling units were affected.

He explained that if the security situation does not improve, the voters in Shiroro Local Government would have to travel to Minna, the State Capital to cast their votes after which the results would be taken back to Shiroro LGA.

However, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner explained that it is not the responsibility of the Commission to convey the IDPs to wherever it establishes to be safe for them to vote”.

Representatives of most of the registered political parties, members of civil society organisations and the media were in attendance at the stakeholders’ meeting.

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