INEC sets up committee to ensure Displaced Persons vote

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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has raised a task force on how to get people displaced in different parts of the country to vote in the February 2015 general elections.

There are about 1.5 million Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in Nigeria, according to the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees, UNCHR.

They are mostly from the three insurgency-ravaged states in the North East region of the country, namely Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, but are scattered in about 11 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

A statement by the Commission on Friday said its Chairman, Attahiru Jega, approved the constitution of a 10-member team, which would be headed by a National Commissioner, Thelma Iremiren.

The other members are the Director, Electoral Operations, Kayode Oladimeji; Ag. Director, Legal Services, Ibrahim Bawa; Director, Voter Registry, Emmanuel Akem; Chief Technical Adviser to the INEC Chairman, Okechukwu Ibeanu; Special Assistant to the Chairman, Mohammed Kuna; and the Director, Planning and Monitoring, Okechukwu Ndeche, who is also its Secretary.

Others are the Resident Electoral Commissioners of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States, Tukur Sa’ad; Kassim Gaidam; Sadiq Musa, respectively.

According to the statement, the terms of reference of the task force are to examine the legal, political, security and administrative challenges in achieving IDP voting during the 2015 General Election; evaluate the standards and recommendations emerging from conferences and workshops by international and local agencies on IDP voting, and determine their applicability to Nigeria for the 2015 General Election; and review the experiences of other jurisdictions in dealing with the challenges of IDP voting;

It will also evaluate the adequacy of existing electoral legal framework for resolving the challenges of IDP voting in the 2015 General Elections; determine what the Commission can do to ensure that IDPs are not disenfranchised, if the existing legal framework is inadequate; determine the scope of IDP participation that is practicable in the 2015 General Election; and submit a comprehensive report, which should embody specific recommendations on IDP participation in the 2015 General Elections.

The force is expected to submit its report within seven days.


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