INEC, Prisons Service move to ensure prisoners vote in 2019

Posted by News Express | 23 February 2018 | 1,624 times

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in collaboration with the Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS) is intensifying efforts to ensure prisoners are given the opportunity to vote in the forthcoming general elections in Nigeria.

Secretary of INEC in Kebbi State, Alhaji Bello Magaji Isah, made the disclosure during a visit to the Controller of Prison in Kebbi State, Mallam Sani Adamu Potiskum, in Kebbi.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, had last year announced to the delight of Nigerians that his Commission was making arrangements with the Nigerian Prisons Service to allow some classes of prisoners to vote in the next general elections scheduled for 2019.

A statement by the NPS, Kebbi State Command, signed by the CPRO, ASP. Faisal Namadi said that during his visit to the Prisons Office in Kebbi, the state INEC boss, Alhaji Isah, highlighted the need for effective synergy among critical stakeholders in creating public awareness on inmates voting rights towards ensuring participations of eligible Nigerians to exercise their franchise.

 “I am here to let you know that the INEC is working on the possibility of creating polling units in Nigerian prisons to allow some categories of inmates to vote.

“The essence is to capture as many eligible voters to participate in the election since voters’ education and sensitization are very essential in this regard.

“We also consider the feasibility of inmates in custody and the plight of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and People in Diaspora to Vote in elections,” the statement quoted  Isah  as saying.

The state INEC boss also disclosed that the commission is collaborating with other stakeholders to ensure all eligible citizens in Kebbi state exercised their voting rights.

In his remarks, Mallam Potiskum said the Controller-General of Prisons, Ja’afaru Ahmed’s had instructed all controllers of Prison throughout the federation to provide maximum support to INEC and other agencies of government to carry out their statutory mandates.

Potiskum said: “We have been instructed by the Controller General, Ja’afaru Ahmed, to provide all necessary support in ensuring you succeed in your campaign on inmates’ right to vote even though they lack right to be voted for.

“We are ever ready to assist the commission in conducting secure, free and fair elections and to ensure the rights of inmates in custody are not disenfranchised.”

Source: News Express

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