According to the Independent National Electoral Commission, three million internally displaced people will vote in the general elections in 2023.
After completing the ongoing Automated Biometric Identification System to remove any double/multiple and ineligible registrations, the commission announced that it will display the voter list throughout the nation.
At a stakeholder meeting in Abuja on the 2022 Revised Framework and Regulations for Voting by IDPs, the commission’s chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made these remarks.
Yakubu clarified that the updated framework has taken a number of changes into account since the 2018 review and validation.
“The objective was to guarantee that no eligible Nigerian is excluded from the election process due to relocation, a handicap, or other situations that may restrict individuals’ participation in the democratic process,” he stated.
“One of these changes is the rise of internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to pervasive instability throughout the country.
“Second, to include both natural disasters like floods and civilian displacement brought on by armed wars.
Thirdly, to make sure the framework complies with the Electoral Act of 2022’s requirements, particularly Section 24(1), which gives the Commission the authority to make sure that, to the greatest extent possible, no Nigerian is denied the right to vote due to being uprooted by crises. Last but not least, to make the framework consistent with the national policy on internally displaced individuals by 2021.
Beyond this, Yakubu said, there was also a need for strong coordination with stakeholders for voter education and IDP sensitization.
However, he refuted the charge made by a coalition of civil society organizations that the commission had broken Section 19(1) of the 2022 Electoral Act, which outlines the manner in which voter registration information must be posted across the nation.
Yakubu said that INEC has not set a date for the activity in issue and that when the time comes, it would carry out the necessary actions precisely.
We want to reassure Nigerians that the Commission would show the whole register in all 8,809 wards and 774 Local Government Areas/Area Councils throughout the country, as provided for in Section 19(1) of the Electoral Act of 2022, he added.
This will include newly registered voters from the most recent CVR exercise into the more than 84 million voter registration that is already in place. When the commission has eliminated all double/multiple and ineligible registrations using the continuing Automated Biometric Identification System, the date will be made public. We want guidance on this matter from a few of our friends in civic society.