INEC Considering Various Options To Conduct Elections In N/East

Channels Television  
Updated January 7, 2015

Kayode_IdowuChief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu, on Wednesday said the electoral umpire was prepared to conduct elections everywhere in Nigeria, including the troubled North East, where the war against Boko Haram rages, and it was considering various options to help citizens there cast their votes in the forthcoming elections.

However, he stressed that the electoral umpire was not a security agency and so it was relying on the security agencies to do their work.

“We are ready to conduct elections everywhere in Nigeria”, he insisted, noting that the agency had proven this by assigning REC to the states in the North East, “to take charge of the conduct of elections there”.

“The Commission is ready to go but it is not a security agency and therefore, it has to work with and rely on those who have been constitutionally empowered to provide security to do its work in that area (North East) and every other area,” Idowu said, on Sunrise Daily.

However, Idowu noted that the task force saddled with planning how Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East will vote submitted its report which was running through the “decision making processes of the commission”.

According to him, various options were also being considered, including creating a safe haven where as many who live in the troubled regions or outside the country could come to cast their votes.

“One option, for instance, is to designate a safe haven, because the law prescribes constituency and residency voting.

“You can designate a safe area as a particular constituency and invite everybody who belongs to that constituency, wherever they dwell in the country, outside the country presently, to come over to that place and cast their vote.”

Idowu’s disclosure is coming after several bodies and individuals had raised concerns over the threat that many in the North East would not be able to vote.

In response, the umpire through Mr Idowu has said “there are many options that the Commission can work with, but essentially it will still need security cover to do these things”.