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Jeers as Gov. Ngilari seeks postponement of elections



The Governor of Adamawa State, Mr. James Ngilari, has begged the Independent National Electoral Commission not to hold elections in his state in February.

He asked the commission to suspend all elections in his state till April.

Ngilari spoke in Abuja on Tuesday at a stakeholders’ workshop on, ‘Internally Displaced Persons and the 2015 general elections’, organised by INEC.

His comments was however received with jeers by the stakeholders at the workshop, which was also attended by the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega.

Though Jega said he had no such powers to grant the request, insisting that only security agencies could say what would happen, the governor remained adamant in his request.

While pleading his case, the governor said that at least seven local governments in the state were currently under the occupation of the Boko Haram sect.

Ngilari 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.”

But there was the shout of ‘no’ ‘no’ from the stakeholders. It tiook th intervention of Jega who appealed to the crowd to allow him make his point.

After this, Ngilari continued, “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 said that while praying, there would be no attacks. He reminded the audience 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.

Punch, January 21, 2015

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