Tuesday, January 6, 2015 8:30 pm
Governors of Nigeria’s north-east states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe on Tuesday insisted that general elections scheduled for next month must also hold in their states despite the fact that some of the areas are under the control of Boko Haram insurgent group.
The Governors who said this while addressing journalists after a closed door expanded emergency security meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday said if elections could be successfully held in countries such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other places where wars are raging, there is no reason why election cannot also be held in the North East part of the country.
Speaking at the end of the meeting which was also attended by security chiefs and relevant ministers, Ibrahim Gaidam, the Yobe State Governor told State House correspondents that the governors told the President to deploy more troops to the north east states ahead of the general elections.
He said this was because the soldiers on ground in the states are not enough to take care of the security situation.
“We have come to brief the President on the security features of our various states, we have come to greet him and we told him of the challenges we have been facing.We are appealing to the Federal Government to deploy more troops in addition to what we have on ground to arrest the situation in our various states,” Gaidam said.
“We need more troops, the troops that we have on ground in our various states are not enough to contain the situation, so we have appealed to the Federal Government to deploy additional troops with full equipment to tame the situation. Elections will hold in the states. Election will hold, that is the position of the electoral commission and definitely in all those areas where insurgency exists, elections will hold,” he added.
His Borno State counterpart, Kashim Shettima, added that holding elections in the states wil send a clear signal to the insurgents that the country will not be deterred by their activities. The Governor also said elections could be conducted in Internally Displaced Person’s camps for those who have been displaced from their communities.
There have been fears Nigeria general elections scheduled for next month may not hold in the three states that are considered to be the epicentre Boko Haram activities.
Members of the insurgent group are still occupying some communities in parts of the three states while thousands of people have been displaced from their communities.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC had earlier indicated that it will conduct elections in the areas affected by insurgency if the security agencies can guarantee the safety of its staff.