The Governor of Adamawa State, Bala Ngilari, Tuesday, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to postpone elections in his state to April, citing security concerns.
Mr. Ngilari spoke in Abuja on Tuesday at a workshop on “Internally Displaced Persons and the 2015 General Elections”, organised by INEC.
Presenting his case, the governor said that at least seven Local Government Areas of Adamawa State were currently under the occupation of the Boko Haram sect.
He 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.”
His plea was, however, received with jeers and shouts of “no” “no” by those who attended the workshop, which was also attended by the INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega.
Although Mr. Jega said he had no such powers to grant the request, insisting that only security agencies could, the governor remained adamant in his request and the jeers continued. The INEC Chairman then appealed to other attendees to allow the Adamawa Governor make his point.
After calm was regained, Mr. 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 stabilized 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.”
While praying against terrorist attacks, he reminded the audience that the most critical time for the insurgents to inflict their harm might be during elections.
Interactions with those in IDPs camps, Mr. Ngilari maintained, showed that their primary concern was not even elections, adding that politicians had not even gone to the IDPs to canvass for votes.