With support from the European Union through its Support for Democratic Governance in Nigeria programme, TAF Africa organized a one-day training for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp coordinators on the 2022 regulations and framework for voting by internally displaced persons, to enhance their participation in the electoral process.
The National Commissioner and Chairman, of the Outreach and Partnership Committee, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Kunle Ajayi, represented by a member of the committee, Dorathy Bello noted that in September 2022, INEC reviewed the electoral framework for voters in IDP camps due to the passage of the 2022 Electoral Act and the introduction of new technologies.
On behalf of the commission, she called for the establishment of voter registration centers in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps and host communities. According to her, the establishment of voter registration centers in IDP camps would allow IDPs to exercise their right to vote without undue burdens. He noted that IDPs often face immense hardships and multiple challenges and that creating an inclusive and enabling environment for them to participate in the democratic process is essential. She added that INEC, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, can mobilize resources and expertise to ensure that IDPs are adequately represented and that their interests are safeguarded in the political sphere.
In her words, “As a starting point, we advocate the establishment of accessible and well-organized voter registration centers in the IDP camps and host communities. This will allow the IDPs to easily register as voters and exercise their right to vote without undue burdens. Additionally, as an inclusive Commission, implementation of voter education programs tailored to the specific needs of IDPs, aiming to inform them about their rights, the electoral process, and the significance of their participation is very crucial.”
In his welcome address, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder, of TAF Africa, Amb. Jake Epelle said that lack of awareness around INEC policies on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) necessitated the training of IDP camp coordinators in selected states.
According to Amb. Epelle, Internally Displaced Persons are often marginalized, and INEC has a lot of policies and frameworks that can help them participate in the electoral process. He added that training of IDP camp coordinators is a positive step towards ensuring that IDPs have the opportunity to participate in Nigeria’s democratic process.
In his words, “INEC has a lot of policies and frameworks that many people are not even aware of. One of such policy is that of the electoral framework for voters in IDP camps. This is our first step of enlightening not only the coordinators but the public about the role of INEC, and IDPs in the electoral process”.