Sunday, September 7, 2014 8:58 pm
Former Vice President and chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar has called for an urgent meeting of critical stakeholders in Adamawa State to ensure a free and fair governorship election on October 11.
The former Vice President made the call against the backdrop of the need to maintain security in the state and fears being expressed about the probable suffocation of the sovereignty of the people by the prevailing emergency rule in the state.
Abubakar noted that that his call for an urgent parley of Adamawa critical stakeholders comprised of the major political parties, security agencies, Adamawa State Government, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), civil society and election observers and religious and traditional rulers followed the results of NOI Polls which revealed that 55 per cent of adult Nigerians want the emergency rule imposed on three states in the North-east region lifted during the 2015 elections.
According to the former Vice President, 72 per cent of those surveyed from the region, however, advocated for the lifting of the emergency rule for the purposes of the 2015 election in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
Atiku said that the envisaged meeting will come up with modalities for ensuring a free and fair election under emergency rule in Adamawa State. He said that the Adamawa situation could be used as a fore runner of the 2015 elections.
The Turaki Adamawa while expressing the imperative of providing adequate security in the state, especially with the peculiar situation presented by the emergency rule, however, observed that the prevailing emergency rule may pose difficulties, if not make it impossible for voters in the state to perform their civic rights .
He said that apart from hindering the freedom people of the state to cast their ballots, the rights of free movement and association, which ordinarily afford people opportunity to attend political rallies and gatherings would be compromised under an emergency rule.
He observed further that the emergency rule in Adamawa State also calls to question, the expected level playing ground, which the government is supposed to provide for all political parties participating in the election since the Federal Government is also an interested party in the election through the participation of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He stressed the need to balance all the conditions precedent in Adamawa ahead of the October 11 governorship election in the interest of democracy, justice and fair-play.
However, the statement was silent on the annexation of some areas of the state by the Boko Haram insurgents.