Nigerian governor wants February elections postponed

Nigerian governor wants February elections postponed

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 10:30 am

Governor Bala Ngilari: Governor of Adamawa State.

Governor Bala Ngilari: Governor of Adamawa State.

One Nigerian governor who does not want the general elections in February conducted in his state is Bala Ngilari of Adamawa State, northern Nigeria.

He wants the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to postpone the conduct of the elections in the state until April.

His excuse? Insecurity that has pervaded some states of the nation, Borno, Yobe, Kano, Gombe, Plateau and Adamawa.

His suggestion is even coming at a time some Nigerians have insisted that elections must hold in all states of the federation and when Prof. Attahiru Jega, the INEC chairman is expressing doubt that elections would hold in states affected by insecurity.

Governors of the affected states recently held a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan and reportedly agreed that elections hold in their states.

Ngilari, who made the call in Abuja at a stakeholders’ workshop on Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, and 2015 general elections organised by INEC, said as the chief security officer of Adamawa State, it would not be fair for him to say that the security situation had sufficiently stabilised to conduct elections.

The governor added that some of the local government councils in the state were still under siege, noting that “presently, the state has over 29,000 IDPs in 15 designated camps.”

He said the situation could have been said to have stabilised if not for the recent attack on Gombi Local Government.

“About the same time, there was an attack on Girei Local Government in the southern senatorial district which has never happened before now.

“Experience has shown that the insurgents will go back and regroup and we cannot predict where and when they will attack.

“We can only hope and pray that normalcy returns soon but we cannot say that all is well.”
Ngilari said that apart from the security situation in the state, no politician had gone to the camps for campaign.

He promised that his administration would do everything possible to cooperate with INEC to ensure that elections were conducted at the appropriate time.

His suggestion was however rejected by participants at the event.

In a remark, Prof. Jega, said the commission would not react to the suggestion.

On his part, Govenror Kashim Shettima of Borno commended INEC for its efforts toward ensuring that internally displaced persons in the north-east would be allowed to vote while appealing to the people in the area not to allow the issue of politics and insurgency to divide them.

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