By Michael Olugbode, Maiduguri
The Independent National Electoral Commision ( INEC ) has designated eight camps as voting centres for over 400,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Borno to exercise their franchise in the forthcoming elections.
The camps will represent each of the eight local governments, where elections may not be held due to Boko Haram crisis.
The Borno state INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim, disclosed this on Wednesday at a roundtable, organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), with stakeholders in Maiduguri, towards the upcoming general election.
He revealed that the state had a total of 2.3 milion registered voters for the 2019 election. He said the commission started preparation for the 2019 election immediately after the 2015 elections.
He urged members of the public who had collected their permanent voter’s card ( PVC) to ensure they were not lost as there were no provisions for their immediate replacement.
Ibrahim said during the exercise, the smart card reader will identify and authenticate a voter, after which the voter’s would be cross checked on the voter’s register, before the voter is cleared to vote.
He said the commission will continue to work for the success of the elections, disclosing that logistics needed for the 2019 elections are already in the state and already distributed to the various local government areas.
He said: “The sensitive materials will go round at the point of the election ‘ and there will be no secret distribution of materials. In Borno, we need about 22,000 ad-hoc staff. Four INEC Staff will be positioned in every polling unit. We have security personnel stationed at each polling station to checkmate vote buying or vote selling.”
He said the eight local government areas designated to vote in camps include Abadam that will vote in MOGOLIS camp; Guzamala – a camp in Monguno; Marte – Bakassi IDPs camp and Monguno camp; Dikwa – Dikwa Central primary school; Ngala- Arabic Village school; Kukawa – Arabic Teacher’s Village IDPs camp and Gubio road camp; Mobbar- Central primary school Damasak, and Zanna Umar Ajiri primary school; while that of Kala-Balge local government area is yet to be decided by critical stakeholders.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Borno, Alhaji Yahaya Imam , said the agency had been campaigning and educating voters for reduction of incidences of invalid votes, which subsequently leads to rerun of elections.
” We also campaign against violence and thuggery . We have been engaging voters in the 774 local government areas of the country on the need for peaceful election,” he added.