By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Governors of the three North-East states where emergency rule is subsisting have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to take a cue from Afghanistan’s electoral body, which courageously held the country’s Presidential and Provincial election last Saturday, despite strong threats by the Taliban to disrupt the elections.
The three governors, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa, Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe and Kashim Shettima of Borno, whose states are currently under a State of Emergency, in a statement issued through their spokesmen, Ahmad Sajoh, Abdullahi Bego and Isa Gusau, said Afghanistan and its good people were celebrated worldwide for liberating themselves from the scourge of fear.
They said this has sent a strong signal that no amount of threat would deny people their rights to choose their leaders through democratic processes.
“Our Independent National Electoral Commission should please learn from the landmark election that took place in Afghanistan at the weekend, during which election officials took the bold step of going on to conduct election in spite of threats by the Taliban to send the country into extinction if the elections were held”, the statement said.
The Governors, who acknowledged that the Central Government in Afghanistan provided adequate security for the conduct of the poles, said it was reported that there was a 53 percent voter turn-out during the elections which went on peacefully in most places.
While pointing out that insurgency affecting Nigeria has a similar attribute to the Taliban doctrine in Afghanistan, the Governors said INEC should as a matter of counter insurgency approach, ensure that no part of Nigeria is excluded from the 2015 elections on account threats.
“Suspending elections on account of threats by insurgents and other sundry social miscreants would amount to succumbing to their doctrine and conceding victory on the part of Nigeria”, the governors said.
They warned that should INEC go ahead with its initial plans to exclude Adamawa, Yobe and Borno States from the 2015 elections, the insurgents would have the courage to extend the attacks to other parts of Nigeria, such as to have more places excluded from future elections.
“This will then imply that crime and criminality will be victorious in suspending constitutional democracy in Nigeria. We wish to state with a lot of emphasis that no human life is worth any election whether at the Presidential, Governorship, National or State Assembly, chairmanship or councillorship level”, the governors said in the statement.