December 18, 2013 | General News
2015 Elections: Gaidam Faults Jega On INEC's Position On Borno, Adamawa, Yobe
BEVERLY HILLS, CA, December 18, (THEWILL) - The decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to conduct election in the three Northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe under emergency rule if the current insecurity in those states persists in 2015 has come under criticisms once again. On Wednesday, the Yobe State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam, flayed the decision, saying the federal government should be proactive and empower the military to flush out insurgents from the three states. In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Press Affairs and Information, Alhaji Abdullahi Bego, the governor said the suggestions that elections may be called off in the three Northeastern states was mind-boggling in several respects and mere pessimism. "His Excellency Governor Ibrahim Gaidam has received with so much incredulity and consternation information about statements credited to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, that INEC might not conduct election in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa States because of the emergency rule currently in force in these states. "Borne apparently of a pessimistic view of the situation in the three states, the INEC Chairman's position is mind-boggling in several respects. "First, the State of Emergency in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa States, renewed for additional six months last November, is due to expire in April, 2014. By INEC's own estimation, the 2015 general elections will hold in January-February 2015. That's at least eight months after the current State of Emergency would have lapsed. Is the INEC National Chairman therefore predicting that the emergency situation will extend indefinitely? "Second, the federal government has told Nigerians that the emergency rule was extended by six months to enable security agents on the ground finish the work of routing out Boko Haram insurgents. With a lot of caveats about the efficacy of the extension, the Yobe State Government had called for massive deployment of advanced military and communications hardware to ensure the total and irreversible defeat of criminals and insurgents within the emergency rule time-frame. Is there thinking now that, two months into the extension, the entire effort will not be a success? "Significantly, we are concerned about how widely held this pessimistic view is at the federal level. "Third, does the INEC Chairman not think that criminals and insurgents, who are bent on disrupting life as we know it, would entertain a feeling of triumphalism for all the despicable and barbarous acts they have been committing against innocent people and the Nigerian nation? "While the answers to these posers are obvious, the Yobe State Government believes strongly that there is no reason not to conduct election in the state or in Adamawa and Borno States. The Yobe State Government also believes that there is no reason why Boko Haram terrorists would not be routed, their activities stopped and peace and stability restored within the remaining months of the current emergency rule," the statement said. He also faulted the INEC chairmen advice that local government polls should not hold in Yobe. "Professor Jega has also spoken about the local government election due to take place in Yobe on December 28, 2013; with the news media quoting him as 'insisting'that the election should not go ahead." "For the avoidance of doubt, the Yobe local government election will go ahead as scheduled. The people at the grassroots level have yearned for this for long and the state government is determined to give the people the opportunity to exercise their right to vote and to elect their leaders. "The State Independent Electoral Commission has made and completed all the necessary arrangements for the election. With the support of the people and the help of the Almighty God, the election will be a success. "Finally, the Yobe State Government is of the opinion that given the necessary federal support, logistics and equipment capable of making our armed forces more stealth, agile and lethal in their capacity to fight the insurgency, the Boko Haram problem can and should be fully addressed within the remaining months of the current Emergency Rule. "The Yobe State Government therefore joins its partners in Borno and Adamawa States to take the strongest possible exception to the statements credited to the INEC Chairman and to ask INEC to prepare fully for elections in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa States along with the rest of the country come January-February 2015,"Gaidam said.