The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has debunked speculations that special provisions would be made for Nigerians outside the country to vote in the 2019 general elections.
Some reports in the media earlier in the week had indicated that Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in camps in Niger Republic and Chad would have the opportunity to participate in the elections, holding in February and March respectively.
But in a statement issued on Thursday by Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman of INEC’s Information and Voter Education Committee, the electoral commission said only IDPs who are registered and currently domiciled in Nigeria would be allowed to vote.
“The Commission wishes to state unequivocally that there will be no Diaspora or Out-of-Country voting for any Nigerian, in accordance with extant provisions of the Nigerian Constitution (1979 as amended). Only duly Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) within Nigeria will be allowed to vote,” the statement read.
The statement added that there was no time that Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman, during the presentation and validation of the framework and regulations of IDP voting declare that diaspora voting was going to be adopted for next year’s elections.
The electoral commission also stated that IDPs who are resident in camps outside the state of their registration would only vote during the presidential election.
“It should however be noted that while Internally Displaced Persons currently residing in states where they registered can vote in all elections, those displaced from their states and are currently living in states other than where they registered can only vote in the Presidential election,” the statement read.