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Insurgency Can’t Stop Elections In North-East – Jega

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The  chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega on Thursday, September 18, 2014 affirmed that the current wave of insurgency threatening the North Eastern part of the country will not deter elections from being held in the zone, if countries with more delicate security situations like Iraq and Afghanistan could hold elections despite their fragile security status.

Jega  made the declaration while appearing before a Senate Committee on INEC, stressing that elections could still hold in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states as security forces where on top of the situation.

He also intimated the committee as to preparations for the conduct of bye-elections in Adamawa state on Saturday, October 11, 2014 saying that from the report he had received from the Adamawa state resident electoral commissioner, normalcy was returning to most parts of the state.

In his words: “Yesterday, the Adamawa State resident electoral commissioner  was here and he gave us adequate briefing. From what we heard, people are moving back home. In Madagali for example, as of yesterday, buses were being provided to move people back home from the camps,”

He also defended the decision to create an additional thirty thousand (30,000) polling units across the country, saying it was a necessary decision as the commission was bound to conduct elections in all parts of the country, including where displaced citizens abound.

He said: “We are having displacement of people with people leaving where they live to live in camps. It is a serious challenge; nobody can underestimate it but the hope of everybody in this country is that this is a temporary problem and you cannot begin to plan on long term based on a temporary thing. If we now say okay because people are leaving the North-east therefore the polling units you create in the North-east should take care of people who have moved out, are we saying that these people are not likely to come back before 2015 or whenever we conduct the elections?”


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