The Independent National Electoral Commission (lNEC) has described as untrue, reports that displaced Nigerians abroad will be able to participate in the 2019 general election.
According to Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, there is no truth in such claims, as the Framework and Regulations for IDP Voting was presented and validated by stakeholders at a conference held in Abuja on Wednesday, with it not containing diaspora voting.
“The attention of the independent National Electoral Commission (lNEC) has been drawn to a report by a section of the media which gave a false impression that the Commission has ‘made special provisions for internally Displaced Persons outside Nigeria to Vote in the 2019 General Elections,’” he said in a statement.
“The Commission wishes to state unequivocally that there will be no Diaspora or Out-of-Country voting tor any Nigerian, in accordance with extant provisions of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended). Only duly registered Internally Displaced Persons (lDPs) within Nigeria will be allowed to vote.
“The Framework and Regulations for IDP Voting was presented and validated by stakeholders at a conference held in Abuja on 12th December, 2018. However, there was no reference whatsoever in the remarks made by the Hon. Chairman. Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu or during deliberations at the validation meeting that special provisions will be made tor lDPs outside Nigeria to vote in the forthcoming general elections, contrary to the said media reports.
“It should however be noted that while Internally Displaced Persons currently residing in states where they registered can vote in all elections. those displaced from their states and are currently living in states other than where they registered can only vote in the Presidential election.
“The framework validated by stakeholders at the conference is in consonance with the provisions of Section 26 (1) of the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2015 which provides that ‘in the event at an emergency affecting an election, the Commission shall as far as possible ensure that persons displaced as a result of the emergency are not disenfranchised.’”