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Published On: Fri, Jan 9th, 2015

INEC to set-up special voting centres for IDPs

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Jega4By Ahmed Abubakar

The National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) may consider creating separate voting centres for displaced persons across the North-eastern part of the country.

This was as a result of the outcome of report by a committee set-up by the commission to ponder on the possibilities and modalities to be followed to ensure Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were not disenfranchised in the forth coming elections.

The committee which submitted the report Wednesday, earlier given a two-week mandate to turn in its report has suggested to the commission for a creation of the special voting units to facilitate for effective voting by the victims.

IDPs’ camps have been created in sections of the country close to the three states of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa which have been under attack by insurgent group, Boko Haram.

The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu, said the IDPs committee had submitted its report which was undergoing process by the commission, stating that a possible option was that safe havens could be carved out as constituencies for displaced persons to vote.

He added that the consideration was constitutional.

Kayode, who spoke on a monitored programme on television, said “various options are being considered. One option is to designate a safe haven as a constituency, because the law prescribes constituency and residency voting. You can designate a safe area as a safe haven and invite everybody to come to that constituency from wherever they dwell within or outside the country to come over and cast their votes”.

He explained that the register of eligible voters was ready for publication next week Tuesday in compliance with the provision of the Electoral Act.

While Section 9(5) of Electoral Act stops INEC from registering any person not later than 30 days before any election, section 19(5) directs the commission to publish the names of those expected to participate in the general election forthwith.

But the commission has said that the publishing of names would not in any way affect those who are yet to receive their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).

The distribution of the PVCs according to the commission will continue till the end of January.

Idowu, who confirmed this said the display of voters names is to allow for public scrutiny of the register for the purpose of claims and objectives, adding that the parties will be given the register to make objections if need be.

He also stressed that the decision of INEC to use PVCs for the election would not be changed.


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