The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria has called for the establishment of voter registration centers in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps and host communities.
The call was made by INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of the Outreach and Partnership Committee, Prof. Kunle Ajayi, at a training of IDP coordinators on the 2022 regulations and framework for voting by IDPs.
The training was organized by All-rights Foundation Africa and funded by the European Union through its Support for Democratic Governance in Nigeria.
Prof. Ajayi said that the establishment of voter registration centers in IDP camps would allow IDPs to exercise their right to vote without undue burdens.He noted that IDPs often face immense hardships and multiple challenges, and that creating an inclusive and enabling environment for them to participate in the democratic process is essential. He added that INEC, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, can mobilize resources and expertise to ensure that IDPs are adequately represented and that their interests are safeguarded in the political sphere.
The Chief Executive Officer of TAF Africa, Jake Epelle, said that INEC policies are not well-known to many people, which is why the training of IDP coordinators is important.
Mr. Epelle said that IDPs are often marginalized, and that INEC has a lot of policies and frameworks that can help them participate in the electoral process. According to him, the training of IDP coordinators is a positive step towards ensuring that IDPs have the opportunity to participate in Nigeria’s democratic process.
Nigeria has a large population of IDPs, with over 2 million people displaced from their homes due to conflict and violence. IDPs often face challenges in accessing basic services, including education and healthcare. The right to vote is an important right for all citizens, and IDPs should be able to participate in the electoral process.
The establishment of voter registration centers in IDP camps would help to ensure that IDPs can exercise their right to vote.