Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to make adequate provisions for the over two million Internally Displaced Persons in the state ahead of 2023 general elections.
He made the call at a roundtable discussion tagged, “Contemporary Security Challenges and their Effects on 2023 General Elections”, organised by the Platinum Post Newspaper on Tuesday in Abuja.
The governor, represented by Prof. Magdalene Dura, his Special Adviser on Millennium Development Goals, said INEC should create polling units at IDPs’ camps and also engage its members as ad-hoc staff during elections.
This, he said, would ensure credibility of the elections at such centres while giving them a sense of belonging.
“There is need for government and INEC to ensure credibility of the electoral process,” he said.
He also expressed concern over the fate of over two million IDPs in his state whom, he said, had been rendered homeless as a result of insurgency.
He appealed to the Federal Government to come to the assistance of IDPs in Benue as it is doing to other IDPs in other parts of the country.
“There is 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.