The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied reports that it has made special provisions for displaced persons outside Nigeria to vote in the 2019 elections.
In a statement, Festus Okoye, chairman, information and voter education of the commission, said there will be no diaspora voting during the forthcoming elections.
“The attention of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been drawn to a report by a section of the media which gave a false impression that the commission has made special provisions for displaced persons outside Nigeria to vote in the 2019 general election,” the statement read.
“The Commission wishes to state unequivocally that there will be no Diaspora or Out-Of-Country voting for any Nigerian, in accordance with extant provisions of the Nigerian Constitution 1979 (as amended). Only duly registered Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) within Nigeria will be allowed to vote.”
The statement said IDPs in the country who are currently residing in states outside where they registered would partake in only the presidential election.
“The Framework and Regulations for IDP voting was presented and validated by stakeholders at a conference held in Abuja on 12th November, 2018. However, there was no reference whatsoever in the remarks made by the Hon. Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu or during deliberations at the validation meeting that special provisions will be made for IDPs outside Nigeria to vote in the forthcoming general election, contrary to the said media reports,” the statement read.
“It should however be noted that while Internally Displaced Persons currently residing in states where they registered can vote in all elections, those displaced from their states and are currently living in states other than where they registered can only vote in the Presidential election.
“The frame work validated by stakeholders at the conference is in consonance with the provisions of Section 26 (i) of the Electoral (Amendment Act 2015) which provides that ‘in the event of an emergency affecting an election, the Commission shall as far as possible ensure that persons displaced displaced as the result of the emergency are not disenfranchised.”