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CAN warns: ‘We won’t accept 2015 polls result if 20m displaced Christians don’t vote’

By News Express on 06/02/2015

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to put in place a mechanism to ensure that the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the North-East cast their votes in the forthcoming general elections.

The association warned that it would not accept the results of the elections if millions of IDPs from the North-East who are mostly Christians were not allowed to cast their votes.

Director of National Issues and Social Welfare of CAN, Sunday Oibe, stated this Wednesday when a delegation from CAN led by the Chairman of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter, Revd. Israel Akanji, visited the IDPs camp at New Kunchingoro, Abuja.

Oibe observed that the results of the forthcoming elections would not be credible or acceptable if over 20 million Christians displaced from the North-East did not cast their votes.

He said: “If over 20 million Christians displaced from the North-East do not cast their votes, how can you say that the elections are credible and acceptable? 

“Prof. Jega should do everything to ensure that Christians that have been displaced from the North-East cast their votes. We have churches that had their headquarters, like the EYN in Maiduguri. They have been displaced with over three million people scattered all over the country.”

Oibe alleged that in order to address some of these issues, CAN scheduled to meet with Prof. Jega last week but was disappointed when, according to him, the INEC chairman allegedly reneged.

“We wanted to meet with Prof. Jega, on the topic last week. He gave us an appointment but reneged, so we are calling on Jega to ensure that IDPs, particularly Christians displaced from the North-East, cast their votes, or we will not accept it,” Oibe said.

CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, represented by the FCT CAN Chairman, Israel Akanji, said that the visit was to provide relief materials and other donations to the IDPs, in consonance with Christians calling to be our brother’s keeper.

He noted that the FCT administration was working hard on having a better place for the IDPs, adding that a vast land had been acquired for building of a better camp for IDPs in the FCT and that the structure might be completed next month.

Earlier, a representative of the displaced persons, Philemon Emmanuel, said that there were over 700 of them in the camp from Goza Local Council Area of Borno State, noting that they had been neglected by government.

He added: “Since we became displaced, government has only come to see us once, through NEMA, in October 2014; they promised to get us special camps with more comfortable houses and healthy centres, as well as schools, but we haven’t heard from them since then.”

•Adapted from a Guardian report. Photo shows CAN Director of National Issues and Social Welfare, Sunday Oibe.

Source News Express

Posted 06/02/2015 11:44:22 AM





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