7th September, 2022
By Emmanuel Oloniruha
No eligible Nigerian will be left out in the electoral processes leading to the 2023 general election, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman, said this at the presentation of the 2022 Revised Framework and Regulations for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Voting, ahead of the 2023 poll in Abuja.
He said that ahead of the 2015 general election, INEC introduced the idea of voting by IDPs, which was revised and validated in 2018 for the 2019 general election.
“Today, the same policy has been revised and is being presented to stakeholders for review and validation in preparation for the 2023 general election.”
“The idea is to ensure that no eligible Nigerian is left out of the electoral process on account of displacement, disability or other circumstances that may limit citizens’ participation in the electoral process.
“What is presented to stakeholders today has taken into consideration several developments since the last review and validation exercise in 2018.
“Firstly is the increased number of IDPs as a result of widespread insecurity nationwide. Secondly, to incorporate not only the displaced citizens arising from armed conflicts but also natural emergencies such as flooding, “Yakubu said.
“Thirdly, to align the framework with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, specifically Section 24(1), which empowers the Commission to ensure that, as far as practicable, no Nigerian is disenfranchised on account of displacement by emergency situations.
“Finally, to align the framework with the national policy on internally displaced persons by 2021.”
Yakubu urged stakeholders to contribute to the discussion at the validation meeting to enrich the framework as well as the regulations for voting by IDPs, saying INEC looked forward to a robust collaboration with stakeholders for voter education and sensitisation for the IDPs.
“I would like to appreciate our development partners for the continuous encouragement and support, as well as all stakeholders for your presence.
“We look forward to your contributions to enable us to enrich and finalise this important document ahead of the 2023 general election,” Yakubu said.