2019: INEC Rules Out Diaspora Voting for IDPs

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said there will be no Diaspora or out-of- country voting for any Nigerian in the 2019 general elections.

This comes after reports that the commission had made special provisions for Internally Displaced Persons outside Nigeria to vote in next year’s polls.

Responding to the claims, INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, said only duly registered Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) within Nigeria will be allowed to vote.

“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 1999 (as amended)”, Okoye said.

He further explained that the framework and regulations for IDP voting was presented and validated by stakeholders at a conference held in Abuja on December 12, 2018.

“However, there was no reference whatsoever in the remarks made by the (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu or during deliberations at the validation meeting that special provisions would be made for IDPs outside Nigeria to vote in the forthcoming general elections,” he said.

He noted that while IDPs currently residing in states where they are 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.”

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