Tears as people displaced by Boko Haram reunite, vote in special centres

Boko Haram

Some persons displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency, Saturday, shed tears of joy as they were reunited with their family members and relations during accreditation at a special polling centre in Yola, Adamawa State.

The internally displaced persons, IDPs, wept as they reunited with their relations whom some of them thought were dead when Boko Haram sacked their towns in 2014.

The correspondent of News Agency of Nigeria who monitored the accreditation of voters in Yola reports that many displaced persons were seen in warm embrace with relations and friends.

Most of them were from Michika and Madagali Local Government Areas in Adamawa.

One of them, Hajara Samuel, seen at the Special Polling Centre in Aliyu Mustafa College, Yola, said she was separated from her family five months ago by Boko Haram insurgents.

She, however, expressed joy that the exercise had afforded them the opportunity to reunite.

Ms. Samuel, who was in tears, said that before the insurgency, she and her neighbours used to cast their votes in the same unit in Michika local government.

Also, Haruna Manzo, who hails from Bazza in Michika, said that since he and other IDPs fled Michika in 2014, he was seeing his immediate neighbour, Ezekiel Haruna, for the first time.

Mr. Manzo described Mr. Haruna as a closed friend adding they fled for safety when Boko Haram elements took over their village.

He, however, expressed joy that they met again at the polling unit as IDPs in Yola.

There was a high turnout of the displaced persons at the special polling centre.

Speaking shortly after being accredited at the Alyu Mustafa Secondary School polling centre, Abubakar Kari, an IDP also from Michika said he was impressed with the turnout.

Mr. Kari, who was the state chairman of Adamawa Positive Change and Initiative, an NGO, said that almost all eligible voters from his polling unit came out for the exercise.

“There is massive turnout of voters. It is very interesting because the electorate are willing to cast their votes for the candidates of their choice”, Mr. Kari said.

He commended INEC for creating the special polling units for the IDPs and expressed optimism that the exercise would achieve its aims and objectives.

Although, the Nigerian military recently reclaimed all territory held by the Boko Haram in Adamawa, many of the residents are yet to return to the liberated towns and still reside in the displaced persons camps in Yola, the state capital.

Meanwhile, Governor James Ngilari of Adamawa has commended voters in the state for their large turnout for accreditation ahead of the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Mr. Ngilari was accredited at 10 a.m. at Shishiwa unit 009, in Madagali Local Government Area.

He said it was interesting that the citizenry through the impressive turnout had signaled their willingness to choose their own leaders.

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