Friday, October 7, 2022

Prisoners have right to vote in 2023 elections: Aregbesola

The minister said the constitution gave prisoners the right to vote during elections.

• October 22, 2021
Interior minister Rauf Aregbesola
Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (Photo Credit: TUNS)

The Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola on Friday said he would support the right of prisoners to vote during the 2023 general election.

“This is so, because the enabling laws do not remove the right to vote from inmates because they are inmates.

“There are certain freedoms that they are denied but voting is not one of them. So, the inmates’ right to vote must be encouraged by all and sundry,” Mr Aregbesola said.

Represented by his technical adviser on Corrections, Michael Anugwa, the minister was speaking on the sidelines of the planning meeting of the Pollrite 23 project in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Pollrite 23 project is aimed at facilitating civic engagement among communities with low voters’ turnout, including inmates in Nigeria.

Carmelites Prisoners’ Interest Organisations (CAPIO) had organised the planning meeting with relevant stakeholders to find a way to achieve the project.

Mr Anugwa said he was going to “make a memo to the minister” on the matter and ensure that “inmates will be accorded the right to vote in future elections in our country.”

The executive director of CAPIO, Jude Isiguzo, said the project would help enforce the electoral rights of inmates, create awareness and an enabling environment for them to vote.

Present at the planning meeting were representatives of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Federal Ministry of Information, NGOs, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Human Right Commission (NHRC), among others.

(NAN)

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