Ahmed Usma Jaha, member representing Gwoza Constituency, at the Borno State House of Assembly has called on the National Assembly to pass a bill that could allow internally displaced persons to vote at the various resettlement camps in 2015 general elections.
Jaha made the call during an interactive session with newsmen in Maiduguri. He said if nothing was done, thousands of persons displaced as a result of violence in different parts of the country may be disenfranchised in the general elections slated for February 14, 2015.
“As I aspire to represent my people from Gwoza/Damboa/Chibok federal constituency on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the National Assembly, a level playing ground for the electorate to cast their votes for me to win is right now not feasible because of insurgency in the various constituencies, where the people could cast their votes in electing their representatives at the national and states House of Assemblies. Gwoza Local Government Area with one of the highest population, after Maiduguri and Jere councils, was the most hit by insurgency, because since the takeover of Gwoza on August 6, 2014, thousands of its residents, including women and children, have been taking refuge in various camps in Maiduguri, Biu and Uba,” The Guardian quoted Jaha as saying.
“If the displaced persons are not allowed to vote at the camps, how can they elect their leaders, while their towns and villages are being taken over and occupied by the insurgents for over four months now?”
He therefore called on the Federal Government to intensify efforts to end Boko Haram insurgency which has led to the death of thousands in the country.
He noted that “There is a bill before the National Assembly to allow IDPs vote in their respective camps,” adding “We hope and pray that the bill will be passed so that our people will not be disenfranchised in the forthcoming general elections of 2015.”