INEC has reaffirmed its preparation to conduct elections in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
The Chief Press Secretary to INEC’s Chairman, Kayode Idowu, said on Tuesday that the Commission’s arrangement was limited to the three states. Idowu said that the Commission had made it clear that it could not ‘put so many irons in the fire at the same time’. “This is the first time that Nigeria was attempting an arrangement of conducting voting at designated centres for IDPs.
“So, the commission cannot extend its capacity for now beyond arrangement in those states,” he said.
He said that displaced people that wanted to vote could do so at their states where arrangement had been made for them. Idowu said though the arrangement INEC made before the counter-insurgency operations was to conduct election at safe designated centres, saying it would be too early to determine what exactly would happen. “People who are displaced can have opportunity to go and vote in the voting centres in the states if it will still be in the voting centres because events are unfolding by the day.
“By the counter-insurgency operations going on, territories are being reclaimed, we don’t know people will still be displaced or restored to their communities as we move closer to the elections,” he said.
He added that the commission was embarking on necessary preparations that would enable it conduct free, fair and credible election. Such preparation, according to Idowu, includes the Commission’s meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) by March 4, as well as the stress test of its card readers.
He said that the stress test would be conducted on March 7 in two states in each of the six geopolitical zones. The states, according to him, are Ekiti, Lagos, Anambra, Ebonyi, Delta, Rivers, Kano, Kebbi, Bauchi, Taraba, Niger and Nassarawa. “There will be a mock-poll in a whole ward. People will bring out their cards and their PVCs will be read and authenticated just like it will be done on election’s day”.