A non-governmental organisation in Benue State known as Community Links and Human Empowerment Initiative (CLHEI) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to review the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) voting framework so as to address gaps that contradict the Electoral Act.
The call is against the background that at least 20, 000 IDPs voted in the February 23 and March 9, 2019 general elections.
Executive Director of CLHEI, Dr. Helen Teghtegh, who made the call in a statement in Makurdi, as part of her organisation recommendations in its report on the participation of IDPs in the 2019 general elections, also stressed the need for INEC to implement to the latter the elements of the framework for IDPs voting by creating voting points in the IDPs camps.
She said, “INEC and relevant stakeholders should develop a logistic plan to ensure IDPs in far communities are transported to the voting centres to avoid manipulation by political actors.
“INEC should review the IDP voting framework to address gaps that contradict the Electoral Act; Government should make plans to return IDPs to their original communities to address voter apathy and encourage active participation of IDPs in the political process.”
Teghtegh said she was delighted that for the first time, INEC has come out with a framework for voting by IDPs, adding that her organisation remained confident that IDPs being involved in the process of electing leaders are now positioned to hold them accountable on their stewardship.