Ahead of the October 11 Adamawa governorship by-election, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has met with stakeholders from Michika and Madagali local government areas.
The meeting was organised by INEC in order to ascertain the fate of voters in the affected areas, which were recently overrun by insurgent Boko Haram group.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC, Kassim Gaidam, said on Sunday that the meeting was to enlighten the stakeholders on their rights during the election.
“We have been meeting with stakeholders from the two areas including council chairmen, councillors and religious leaders on how to address the issue.
“They suggested the possibility of using Mubi or Yola as centres as most of the eligible voters from these areas are now residing in them,” Mr. Gaidam disclosed.
Most residents from the affected areas had fled to other parts of the state and the neighbouring Cameroon Republic as a result of the insecurity.
Mr. Gaidam said INEC was yet to reach any final solution on the matter, and he was awaiting directives from the commission’s headquarters.
“We are yet to reach a final solution. As you know everything is subject to approval by INEC headquarters in Abuja,” he said.
However, some of the potential voters from the two areas, particularly those in Internally Displaced Persons, IDP camps in Yola and Mubi, said they abandoned their voters’ cards along with other valuables due to the impromptu nature with which they left home.
“We hope that INEC will realise that we left behind our voters cards in our homes after we fled and put that into consideration when it finally decide to allow us to vote and exercise our civic right,” said Hamman Madagali, a victim.
Statistics from INEC Voters Register in Adamawa showed there were no fewer than 148,375 registered voters in the two local government areas.
The breakdown showed there were 82,291 voters in Michika and 66,084 voters from Madagali.
The by-elections were fixed following the impeachment of the former governor of the state, Murtala Nyako. The state is currently run by an acting governor, Ahmadu Fintiri, the former speaker of the state house of assembly.
Mr. Fintiri is the Peoples Democratic Party candidate for the election, while a senator, Bindowo Jibrilla, candidate of the All Progressives Congress, is his major challenger.