“No Elections In Michika, Madagali”- INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said that it will not conduct elections in Madagali and Michika of Adamawa State during the upcoming polls.

According to the INEC spokesman in Adamawa State, Rifkatu Duku, security operatives are yet to give clearance for the electoral umpire to conduct elections in the mentioned areas which were recently recovered from Boko Haram control by the Nigerian military and its allies from Chad, Cameroon and Nigerian.

“We are not going to risk the lives of our staff because we are yet to get the situational report from the security operatives,” Duku stated.

He said that INEC cannot be expected to conduct elections in the areas where security can still not be guaranteed but assured that the commission “had created designated centres here in the state capital for IDPs elections.”

Media reports indicate that residents of the affected communities have expressed reluctance to return or vote in the communities despite successes recorded by the Nigerian military.

INEC statistics also revealed that as much as 148, 375 voters fled Madagali and Michika local governments in a bid to escape death at the hands of insurgents.

The displaced persons who sought refuge in Internally Displaced Persons, IDP, camps in Yola, however, stated that they are not planning to return home yet.

“The military were on ground when Boko Haram came and took over our town. Though the same military has recaptured our land now, but we aren’t sure the insurgents won’t come back,” said an elderly man, Zira Yohanna at the National Youth Service Corp IDP camp in Yola.

“We are not certain about the situation around our area in Garta. I don’t think anybody wishes to return now. Some of the Boko Haram men may have fled to return again,” he further stated.

It would be recalled that the Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, had described it as “callous and utterly irresponsible” to expect the displaced persons to return to their communities to vote with the existent challenges on ground such as safety, security, and health.

Alleging that “Abuja politicians” were the ones advocating a return of the IDPs to their communities for the purpose of voting at the polls, Shettima stated that dangers awaiting the displaced persons include insurgents on the run, lethal minefields, and health epidemics.






     

     

    Habu Musa, another survivor of the Boko Haram rampage also said he was afraid of returning to vote in the elections.

    “No, we will not return until after the elections. Only last week, we heard that three Boko Haram suspects were nabbed in Michika.

    “We are wary of these politicians, we are prepared to vote at the designated centres designed by INEC,” said Musa.

    Many displaced persons have expressed fears of reprisal attacks from the insurgents, saying that Boko Haram fighters could spring surprises even after the six-week military operation.

     

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