THE Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday warned voters from 270 polling units displaced from their homes by bandits in Niger State might not be able to vote in the forthcoming general elections.
Available information has it that 14 out of the 25 local government areas, LGAs, of the state have been taken over by bandits and residents are presently scattered in different IDP Camps across the state.
Most affected local government areas are Shiroro, Munya, Mariga and Rafi.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Niger State, Prof Sam Egwu who made this known during a stakeholders meeting with Political Parties, Security Agents and other Political stakeholders, him,” the Internally Displaced Persons in the 14 Local Government Areas of the state may have the opportunity to vote in the IDP camps only if security situation in the state improves before 2023 general elections.”
“The no go areas due to insecurity for now are in Shiroro,Rafi, Mariga, and parts of Munya Local Government Areas and INEC already has a policy for IDP voting but we are calling for support and cooperation from political parties and other stakeholders to achieve the results.
INEC has created 1,765 new polling units in addition to the existing 3,186 in the state.
However, some polling units would be depopulated before the elections.”Head of Department, Operations, Mohammed Babatunde Yusuf in his own remarks gave statistics of the affected local government areas adding that many voters have already been displaced from their polling Units due to incessant Banditry.
“Eligible voters from 270 polling units have been completely displaced from their homes of which 46 polling units are from Munya LGA, 100 polling units from Mariga LGA, 62 Polling units from Shiroro LGA and 62 polling units from Rafi LGA have been affected”.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Monday Kuryas in his remarks, said though the state has been experiencing a lot of security challenges in the past months but gave assurance that security agencies had recently recorded sucesss in the fight against banditry and criminality in the state.
“The state faced a lot of security challenges in 7 Local government Areas but we have been recording a lot of Successes in our fight against banditry and criminality and if we maintain the momentum, who knows, the IDPS will return back to their homes before the general elections next year.” – Vanguard