The Independent National Electoral Commission on Friday in Abuja said it had raised a task force on how to get the Internally Displaced Persons in areas ravaged by Boko Haram insurgents to vote in the general elections in February 2015.
The team, which has a National Commissioner in INEC, Thelma Iremiren, as its chairperson, also consists of nine other members, including the Resident Electoral Commissioners of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
The task force has seven days from Monday, December 22, 2014, to submit its report and had been approved by the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kayode Idowu.
Members of the task force include the Director (Electoral Operations), Kayode Oladimeji; Acting Director (Legal Services), Ibrahim Bawa; Director (Voter Registry), Emmanuel Akem; Jega’s Chief Technical Adviser, Prof. Okechukwu Ibeanu, and his Special Assistant, Prof. Mohammed Kuna.
Others are the RECs of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states –Prof. Tukur Sa’ad, Kassim Gaidam and Mallam Sadiq Musa respectively, and the Director, Planning and Monitoring, Okechukwu Ndeche, who is also the Secretary of the task force.
The statement explained that the task force had been saddled with the responsibility of examining the legal, political, security and administrative challenges in achieving IDPs voting during the 2015 general election.
It is also to evaluate the standards and recommendations emerging from conferences and workshops by international and local agencies on IDPs voting, and determine their applicability to Nigeria for the 2015 general elections and review the experiences of other jurisdictions in dealing with the challenges of IDPs voting.
INEC added that the panel would evaluate the adequacy of existing electoral legal framework for resolving the challenges of IDPs voting in the 2015 general election.
The team, the statement said, would equally determine what the commission could do to ensure that IDPs were not disenfranchised, if the existing legal framework was inadequate.
INEC also charged the task force to determine the scope of IDPs participation that was practicable in the 2015 general elections and submit a comprehensive report, which should embody specific recommendations on IDPs participation in the 2015 general elections.