Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to make adequate provisions for the more than two million Internally Displaced Persons in the state ahead of 2023 general elections.
He made this call at a roundtable discussion tagged, “Contemporary Security Challenges and their Effects on 2023 General Elections”, organized by the Platinum Post Newspaper on Tuesday in Abuja.
Prof. Magdalene Dura, Ortom’s Special Adviser on Millennium Development Goals who represented him at the event, said INEC should create polling units at IDPs’ camps and also engage members of the camps as ad-hoc staff during elections.
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He maintained that this would ensure credibility of the elections at such centers while giving them a sense of belonging.
While speaking, Prof. Dura said: “There is a need for the government and INEC to ensure credibility of the electoral process.” He also expressed concern over the fate of over two million IDPs in his state who, he said, had been rendered homeless as a result of insurgency.
He appealed to the Federal Government to aid IDPs in Benue as it is aiding IDPs in other parts of the country. “There is a lack of equity and justice in Nigeria. INEC needs to have comprehensive data on the IDPs so that they can create polling units for IDPs,” he said.
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, who chaired the occasion, stressed the need to ensure the safety and security of voters, election personnel, materials, candidates, party agents, observers and media practitioners during the electioneering process.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Usman Mohammed, Ganduje called on the electorate to eschew acts of violence and other negative tendencies that could mar the conduct of 2023 general elections.