The Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, says excluding the three states under emergency rule from elections in 2015 would be amount to capitulating to the Boko Haram sect.
Shettima was reacting to a statement by the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, that elections may not hold in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states if the present breach of peace continues.
The governor noted that the decision may have grave repercussions for the country, as suspending the general election in 2015 in any part of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, on account of Boko Haram activities would amount to making the insurgents supreme over the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“It will be defeatist on our part as a nation. The goal of Boko Haram is to impose their beliefs on us, subvert our constitution and our democracy and replace them with inhuman laws that support killings and destructions and should we suspend any part of the country whether in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa or any place at all from taking part in the 2015 election, the insurgents would presuppose successes on their part and itching close to achieving their goals and we cannot allow that,” he said.
According to him, if Boko Haram is allowed to stop elections in three states, they might in no time target additional states and gradually succeed in stopping elections in The whole country.
He stressed that the sovereignty of the country must be defended and that a minority few should not be allowed to force their views on the majority.
“I expect that as a strategy, Borno and Yobe and indeed any place so affected by the insurgents, should be the main focus for conduct of the 2015 elections by INEC so that we send a clear message to those who want us to go into extinction that we will not cave in to their violent needs, we will move on,” Shettima stated.
He stressed further: “Suspending the 2015 elections in Borno will make mockery of the sacrifices made by those who laid their lives; to defend our constitutional democracy, we will be insulting their memories that we should preserve. I, like all good citizens of Borno, firmly believe in a creed, that we must with courage, say no to those who desire our destruction.”
The governor therefore called on the federal government all stakeholders in the country to examine the issue at stake “with analytical mindset far beyond what reasons we might be talking about now”.