We Were Unable To Vote During 2023 General Election – IDPs

Internally Displaced Persons has disclosed that they weren’t able to vote during the 2023 general elections.

The IDPs affected, noted that the INEC couldn’t replace their misplaced Permanent Voter Cards before the February 25 general election.

Mercy IDP camp’s coordinator, Zowkwa, Kaduna State, David Nyat, said since 2020, they had not been participating in elections.

Nyat explained, “My IDP camp since 2020 did not participate in the local government elections and most of them did not participate in 2023 general elections.

“We have those who registered, and their voter cards were not available.

“I wish that their cards would be made available in the next election.”

Another camp coordinator in UNHCR Shelter, Daudu Camp 1, Benue State, Nyitor Atindi, blamed INEC for denying them the opportunity to vote in the last general elections.

Atindi said, “In Guma LGA, Benue State, many of our IDPs complained that they misplaced their voters’ cards, and we forwarded this request to the INEC office in charge of Guma.

“We were told they would send some of their staff to register us, but unfortunately, they denied us access when they came.

“They said after all, we are IDPs. However, they went to register the IDPs at the nearest polling unit close to our camp.”

Tagama IDP Camp Coordinator, in Samaru Kataf, Zangon Kataf LGA, Kaduna State, Rev. Victor Yahaya, stated that there was no PVC registration in camp.

Yahaya said, “No one came from INEC to register those affected. Those that went to INEC centers were disappointed and humiliated.

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“This whole process was disheartening. If INEC has a good framework, it is only on paper and not properly actualised. If it was actualised, the IDPs would have been given good considerate attention by INEC. Some of the IDPs do not have voter cards as I am speaking with you.”

Also, a camp representative, Dayspring camp, Bakassi, Cross River State, Bassey Edet, noted that their situation was that of displacement.

Edet stated, “The challenge we have is that of displacement. Because of our displaced status, we lost our voter cards and could not vote in the process. We are riverine people and when it comes to participation in an election, we cannot vote in our environment.”

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