14 December 2018

Nigeria: No Provision for Voting By IDPs Abroad in 2019, Says INEC

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(file photo)

Enugu and Abuja — No provision for internally displaced persons (IDPs) abroad to vote in next year's general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed.

The clarification, according to the agency, followed a widespread media report that it had "made special provision for IDPs outside Nigeria to vote in the 2019 general elections."

A statement stated: "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 1999 Constitution (as amended)."

INEC stated that only duly registered lDPs within the country that would be allowed to vote.

The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, in the statement, said there was never a time the commission's chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, assured IDPs abroad of voting.

Meanwhile, the Enugu command of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has urged resident foreigners to surrender the permanent voter's cards (PVCs) in their possession or risk prosecution.

It urged the affected persons to return the cards to its offices in the 17 local councils or the state command office within the metropolis.

Addressing the foreigners in Enugu, the comptroller, Sam Chinda, stated that it was an offence for any foreigner residing in Nigeria to posses a PVC and participate in the forthcoming general elections.

He said the Comptroller General, Muhammad Babandede, had directed state comptrollers to ensure that no non-Nigerian participated in the exercise.

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