IDPs call for polling unit in Edo camp after attack by political thugs

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Uhogua, near Benin, Edo State, have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to create a polling unit in their camp.

The IDPs, in a telephone interview, said this would protect them against thugs and allow them to exercise their franchise.

They were attacked by suspected political thugs at the Oronsanye Primary School polling unit, where they had gone to vote during the March 18 House of Assembly election in the state.

The IDPs are mainly from Borno and Adamawa states, running from insecurity in the country’s North-East region. Some came from Chibok, Biu, Askira Uba, and Gwoza.

Suleman Ayuba, one of the IDPs, said that, with what happened on March 18, they were already feeling insecure.

“It was obvious that we were the target because there were two polling units in the primary school, but the attack was carried out in ours.

“Our people were injured, we lost our phones and other valuables, yet till now, nobody in the state has come to sympathise with us after the attack unleashed on us.

“Majority of our people are still receiving treatment in health facilities outside the camp, even money to pay their hospital bills, we don’t have, and we are still looking for.”

Similarly, Philemon Emmanuel, another IDP, called for another election to be conducted for the IDPs who were disenfranchised during the attack.

“It is not good that many of us were disenfranchised by political thugs despite having our PVCs and candidates we wanted to vote for.

“Governments have been carrying out reruns in other places, so they should also consider this camp, in view of what happened at the polling unit during the state assembly election, so that our vote can count.”

Evelyn Omigie, the assistant coordinator of the camp, said there was an urgent need for the federal government and INEC to create a polling unit in the camp.

“We need a polling unit in line with the federal government directive that polling units must be situated in all IDP camps across the country.

“Also, in spite of what happened and what we have expended on hospital bills, nobody has come to sympathise with either the victims or management of the camp,” she said.

She called on the federal government to investigate the incident and unravel the perpetrators of the attack on the IDPs’ polling unit.

Ms Omigie also called on the government to support the camp financially to treat the IDPs who sustained various degrees of injuries and make them healthy again.


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