The electoral law may be amended to allow those displaced from there communities in the Northeast to vote during the 2015 General Election, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, representing Borno South at the National Assembly disclosed on Sunday.
The senator who said if the Electoral Act is not changed to allow the displaced persons to be elected, over a million persons displaced from the entire states of the Northeast may be disenfranchised.
He noted that the only way to give the election some level of credibility is by allowing the electorate who have been displaced from all the states of the Northeast to vote at the internally displaced camps mostly at the state capitals and other safe havens.
Ndume, who addressed journalists on the need to change the law to accommodate the displaced persons to vote at their new abode, argued that if Nigerians in Diaspora are being considered an allowance during the election, “what stops those that have been displaced by the prevailing insurgency in the Northeast from been given the same allowance.”
He said once the Senate resumes plenary, he will be putting forward a bill to amend the Electoral Act so that the displaced persons can be allowed to vote at their new abode.
Ndume, whose hometown Gwoza is under occupation of the Boko Haram, said if something is not done urgently the insurgents may overrun the entire Northeast, insisting that the thought of political leadership in the country should be security of life and property and not election as this could only add to make Nigerians see politicians as unserious.
He said: “The major problem of this country is not the 2015 general election that everybody is talking about everywhere but the security of the nation. I am always amazed when I hear people talking about election in 2015 and not the condition or situation of the internally displaced persons are in presently in Borno and other states of the north east.
“Nobody is talking and showing much concern about it. This is the reason why I am mobilizing some of my colleagues to support the motion for the amendment of the electoral act to allow IDPs like me and others who are displaced and are now in Maiduguri, Yola, and other places to cast our votes wherever we are.
“For example in Maiduguri today we have over 17,000 Gwoza people that are internally displaced and only 7,000 are already in Maiduguri at different camps and with their relations while about 10,000 are presently being relocated and conveyed to Maiduguri from other places. And this is apart from those from Damboa and other local government areas that Boko Haram has annexed.”