Governor Samuel Ortom has made known to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make provisions for the over two million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Benue ahead of the 2023 general elections.
He made the call at a roundtable discussion tagged; “Contemporary Security Challenges and their Effects on 2023 General Elections”, organised by the Platinum Post Newspaper on Tuesday in Abuja.
The governor, represented by Prof. Magdalene Dura, his Special Adviser on Millenium Development Goals, said INEC should create polling units at IDPs’ camps and also engage its members as ad-hoc staff during elections.
This, he said, would ensure credibility of the elections at such centres while giving them a sense of belonging.
He also stressed the need for the federal government to ensure more security at the country’s borders, saying that the porous nature at the various borders had led to the infiltration of criminal elements into the country.
The governor alleged that Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) are already in the wrong hands ahead of the 2023 general elections, saying there is the need for INEC to raise its game.
There is need for government and INEC to ensure credibility of the electoral process.
He also expressed concern over the fate of over two million IDPs in his state who he said had been rendered homeless as a result of insurgency.
He appealed to the federal government to come to the assistance of IDPs in Benue as it is doing to other IDPs in other parts of the country.
There is lack of equity and justice in Nigeria. INEC needs to have comprehensive data on the IDPs so that they can create polling units for IDPs.
He added that since the possibility of IDPs returning to their homes to vote before the elections is slim, INEC must open discussions with them to know what they need.