At least six communities in the Guma Local Government Area of Benue State have threatened legal action against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) if it fails to register about 120,000 allegedly disenfranchised voters at Internally Displaced Persons (IPD) camps.
Newsmen report that the communities’ grievances were contained in a petition signed on their behalf by a former Commissioner for Lands and Survey in Benue State, Surv. John Tondu, which was made available to newsmen in Makurdi on Monday.
“I write to you on behalf of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the following Council Wards in Guma Local Government Area: Uvir, Mbadwem, Mbabai, Mbayer-Yandev, Mbawa, and Nyiev.”
“These people were sacked from their homes by armed marauders and for a long time, they have been living in Internally Displaced Persons’ camps (IDP Camps) in Benue State.
“I have the mandate of the aforesaid internally displaced persons and my people, in general, to bring to your immediate attention for necessary action, the fact that the IDP Camps in Benue state and their inhabitants are being completely shut out of our country’s political process because they are not part of the on-going continuous voters’ registration exercise,” the letter read.
Tondo argued that voting and being voted for are at the heart of a democratic system of government and that in furtherance of these rights that the extant Electoral Act provides for continuous voters’ registration and constant updating of the Voters’ Register by INEC.