© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
BAUCHI RESIDENTS DEFY CURFEW ORDER TO PROTECT VOTES
Residents of Bauchi, the Bauchi State capital on Sunday defied the curfew order issued by the state governor, Isa Yuguda, in a bid to protect their votes from manipulation.
The electorate, consisting mostly of youths, trooped out in large for a sit-out vigil in front of the State Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, office ostensible to ensure that the results of Saturday’s elections are not tampered with overnight.
A curfew had been announced on Sunday afternoon by the governor who said that the security reports he received warranted the order.
Yuguda had stated that intelligence reports had revealed plans of an impending Boko Haram attack on the town hence the curfew order.
However, the residents of the capital city, suspecting that the governor had ulterior motives for giving the order, defied it and trooped out en-masse to keep vigil at the state INEC office.
The youths alleged that the state government is imposing the curfew on Bauchi in order to allow its agents manipulate the results to its advantage.
Reports indicate that several military jets have flown over the city Sunday evening, giving credibility to the state government’s security warning of an impending attack.
Abdullahi Salisu, a Bauchi resident wrote on his Facebook page: “There are 3,500 of us now at the INEC Bauchi State office and more are coming we defied the curfew. Our vote is our freedom protecting it at the moment is a most (sic). If I don’t survive this tonight let the world know it’s for the future of this country”.
When contacted by our correspondent via phone call, he revealed that the youths were resolute and would not budge from their vigil at the INEC gates even though security and law enforcement agents were trying to persuade them to leave.
“Wallahi for the past three days I have not slept. Even at the moment, I’m just trying to see how I can charge the phone… the battery is already down,” he said.
“I’m telling you people will sleep there till morning. We are determined and they must announce the result before we will leave here,” he said.
Salisu, who supplied pictures of the sit-out which has extended into a nocturnal vigil, further disclosed that the results from local government areas were yet to be announced but expressed hope that it would be ready in about 3 to 4 hours.