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James Ngilari, tells INEC not to hold elections in Adamawa over Boko Haram attacks
Governor James Ngilari of Adamawa State, has pleaded with the Independent National Electoral Commission not to hold elections in his state come February, sighting high level of insecurity as well as growing number of displaced persons.
He urged INEC to suspend all elections in the state till April.
Ngilari spoke at a stakeholders’ workshop on, ‘Internally Displaced Persons and the 2015 general elections’, organised by INEC, in Abuja on Tuesday, January 20.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega however said he had no such powers to grant the request, insisting that only security agencies could say what would happen.
Ngilari however remained firm on his view that it would be out of place to hold elections in the state.
According to Ngilari, at least seven local governments in the state were currently under the occupation of the Boko Haram sect.
He said, “In Adamawa, I can truly tell you that seven local government areas are under siege. The supposed peace we have is just the peace of the graveyard. To say that the security situation in these local governments are sufficiently stabilised so that we can have these elections on the February 14, 2014, to my mind is fierce.
“That is my position. Anybody is entitled to his views; that is our position. I am the chief security officer. Even as I speak now, this morning Mr. Chairman, there was an attack on Uba on the Borno side which directly affects us in Adamawa.
“Before last Saturday, this situation could be said to have been stabilised until this attack was unleashed on Gombi Local Government. With that attack which completely reverberates across these seven local governments, of course, people would first and foremost be concerned about their dear lives.
“For the first time and about the same time, there was an attack on Biu which has never happened before. Experience has shown that they will go back and regroup and you can never predict when and where they would attack again.”
Ngilari stressed that the most critical time for the insurgents to inflict their harm might be during elections.
He said that his interactions with those in IDP camps showed that their primary concern was not even elections, adding that politicians had not even gone to the IDPs to canvass for votes.
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