Ndume Says INEC Has Shown Willingness Not to Disenfranchise any Nigerian

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The Senator representing Borno South at the National Assembly, Mohammed Ali Ndume, on Sunday said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has shown it’s willingness to see that no Nigerian of voting age is disenfranchised.

The lawmaker expressing his satisfaction with the effort of the electoral umpire to ensure that thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) are not left out deprived of the civic responsibility of getting to elect their representatives, said INEC has shown from day one that “no Nigerian that has come of age is left out of the exercise.”

Ndume said he has paid visit to some of the IDP camps in Maiduguri and seen that INEC is doing a great job of giving the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) to those displaced by the insurgency.

The senator, who addressed a press conference after a tour of some of the IDP camps in Maiduguri said: “I want to commend INEC for embarking on the distribution of the PVC after so many delays.”

“You can see in most polling units, that individuals are so anxious to collect their PVC, because it is the only ticket that will allow them participate in next months general election,” he added.

Ndume said that the large turn out of registered voters wishing to collect their PVC was a sign of good omen and implies that Nigerian are more than ever interested in who represent them.

“The large turn out is an indication that we are going to have massive voters turn out during the election in February,” he said.

Ndume also commended INEC for distributing the PVC at various IDP camps in Maiduguri.

“You can see that even the IDPs are eager to collect their voters card, going by the number of people trying to collect their PVC.

“Many people are happy that it is now clear that they are going to vote during the election,” he said.

He however appealed to the military to hasten the ongoing operations to
dislodge the Boko Haram insurgents from the state so that the IDPs can go back home before the elections.

“We will be very happy if the military is able to dislodge the insurgents from our villages before the elections, so we can vote in our homes,” he said.

Ndume said many people were apprehensive about the conduct of election in the state at the initial stage.

“Section 42 of the Electoral Act states clearly that no Nigeria should be disenfranchised by preventing him from voting in an election.
“But the problem of insurgency had created many IDPs who are no longer staying in their communities,” he said.

Ndume added:“ Even INEC was worried about the situation at one point.

“But the senate in its wisdom passed a motion mandating INEC to use its administrative structure to allow the IDPs to vote”.

He said that the action had paid off as the IDPs were happy with the development.

“The IDPs are eager to exercise their voting right during the election by bringing a lasting change that will turn round their situation” he said, insisting that: `The IDPs want to vote for a government that will allow them go back to their homes.”


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