The Independent Natonal Electoral Commiscion (INEC), has released a revised schedule of polling points for voting at the general election by Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Benue State.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Commonunity Links and Human Empowerment Initiative (CLHEI) Dr. Helen Teghtegh, whose Non Governmental Organisation (Ngo) is working with the IDPS to ensure that they vote in the general elections earlier circulated the information across the IDPs camps in the state.
According to Dr. Teghtegh, two categories of IDPS are recognised: Those whose communities have been completely displaced and those whose communities are partially displaced.
IDPs are camped in Guma, Makurdi and Logo Local Government Areas of the state with IDPs at Ugba and Anyiin, scheduled to vote at the designated polling points at Ugba and Anyiin. The Ugba IDPs camp comprised the displaced persons from Tombo and Mbagber Council Wards and they will vote at Ugba voting point while the Anyiin camp, which comprised the displaced persons from Tombo, Mbagber, Ukyemberega/Tswarev will vote at Anyiin voting point.
IDPs from the other camps including Daudu I, Daudu II, Gbajimba, NEPA Quarters, Baka Market, Abagena and Mbawa will go to their council wards to vote.
Dr. Teghtegh quoted INEC as expressing concern for multiple voting and rigging as reasons for providing for the IDPs to go their wards and vote more so that council wards from where IDPs in the aforementioned camps come from are only partially displaced.
She denied insinuations in some quarters that INEC is set to disenfranchised IDPs in the state explaining that the Commission following calls by Community Links and Human Empowerment Initiative registered IDPs that are eligible to vote, distributed Permanent Voter Cards to them with involvement in educating the IDPs on the commission’s voting platform for them.
According to Dr. Teghtegh, the idea is to ensure that the IDPs as nationals of Nigeria also exercise their civic responsibilities. Her NGO championed voter education and get out the vote campaign in IDPs camps.
However, the Community Links and Human Empowerment Initiative boss says during distribution of the new schedule of the polling points for IDPs voting, the IDPs, especially in Makurdi and Guma Local Government Areas are concerned about their security in going to their wards where they are displaced to vote as there are still cases of pockets of killings, transportation fare and where to put up in advance to election day, especialy that the information is coming less than 24 hours to election day.