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Displaced Persons in Nigeria Promised a Vote

DW   in  ·
January 14, 2015

Will lack of security and conflicts in some parts of Nigeria allow for free and democratic elections on February 14? Central authorities in Abuja say they will spare no effort to reach this goal.

There are fears in Nigeria that not every citizen will get a chance to exercise his or her right to vote. The Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram is a threat in the northeast and there is also the problem of how to reach the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons. DW spoke to the country’s Director of Publicity and Information at the Electoral Commission (INEC), Nick Pazang, to find out what exactly are the plans.

DW: How prepared is the country to hold elections with the ongoing insurgency in the north?

Nick Pazang: As you’re aware, there is an insurgency in some parts, the northeast specifically in the states you mentioned, namely Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. But we are putting in modalities to make sure voters in these states are not disenfranchised. A lot of the civilians of these three states are internally displaced. Most of them are in camps like in Borno, for example. They are in eleven camps. These camps are represented by the local governments in which each internally displaced person is. What the commission intends to do is to make it possible for eligible voters in these camps to vote for candidates of their choice.

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