By Ajogwu Jerry
It is a season of joy for residents of Nigeria’s north eastern region as they anticipate to participate in the forthcoming general election after many years of disenfranchisement due to insurgency.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced that election will take place in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
Election did not hold in both Madagali and Michika LGAs in 2015 due to the violent activities of Boko Haram which had seized both LGAs earlier in 2014.
The state INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Kassim Gaidam, who disclosed this, said the decision was informed by security advice, but that election will hold at all polling centres in neighbouring Michika LGA and the rest of the state.
Gaidam spoke at a ‘Prevention of Election Violence and Education for Inclusion in Nigeria (PEV-EDI) programme, a programme of the European Union Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) at internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps in Malkohi and Fufore, through the state INEC Head of Public Affairs, Mrs Rifkatu Dukku who later specified, in a telephone interview Thursday, that voting in Madagali LGA would be restricted to Gulak Central Primary School, GSS Madagali and GSS Shuwa.
“Right now what we have for IDP voting in Adamawa State is only in the Madagali LGA. Voting in the whole of Madagali is going to take place in Gulak Central Primary School; GSS Madagali and Shuwa. These are the only approved centres for the council,” she said.
At the IDPs camp in Malkohi, in Yola South LGA, and in Fufore, headquarters of the Fufore LGA, the European Centre for Electoral Support had taken to the IDPs the campaign for electoral participation, in line with the goal of PEVI-EDI, which is to “increase marginalised groups’ participation in, and contribution to, electoral process through violence prevention and mitigation, voter education and inclusion, thereby supporting the successful conduct of the electoral process.”
Gaidam applauded the Nigeria Army for restoring peace in the region and solicited for security assistance during and after the elections.