Twenty-three political parties in Borno State have advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to shift elections in the state to September, citing the fragile security situation in the state, with five other rejecting the call for the shift.
The five parties calling for the elections to go ahead as planned are: All Progressives Congress (APC), Kowa Party, All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Africa Alliance (AA).
Speaking at a press conference in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, the Chairman of the Borno State inter-party advisory council, Babagana Musa said the state was not safe enough for elections to hold.
He said: “After holding series of stakeholders’ meetings, we finally resolved that it was necessary to call for the extension of the 2015 general election in Borno state.
“Up till this moment, INEC has not distributed PVCs in 175 polling units and this means approximately 500,000 eligible voters will be denied the right to vote in 2015.
“Besides that, the lives and safety of opposition party officials and supporters are in great danger due to activities of the ruling party’s thugs. A case in point was recent incident when flags of opposition were destroyed and supporters beaten to state of coma when the governor was on a visit to the general hospital.”
The parties also accused the APC of causing trouble in the state, calling for an interim government once the tenure of incumbent Governor Kashim Shettima expires.
Musa continued: “The ruling APC has violated Section 94 (1) by possession of weapons at rally, while Section 96 (1) was also violated as the ruling party has directly or indirectly used force and violence during political campaigns.
“We therefore call on the national assembly to set in motion a resolution to constitute a government of state unity on 29th May, 2015 at the expiration of the incumbent administration so that all good people of Borno will have a sense of belonging.”