by Dare Lawal
President Goodluck Jonathan held a meeting with the governors of the three North-East states most affected by the Boko Haram insurgency. After the meeting, Governors Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe, Kashim Shettima of Borno and Bala Ngilari of Adamawa said that they conveyed a demand to the president that elections must hold in their states next month.
Whether elections would hold in those three states has been one of the main questions dominating discussions in the build up to the elections especially as the attacks of the terrorists do not seem to be abating.
Today’s meeting was also attended by security chiefs and relevant ministers.
At the end, the governors of the three states argued that if elections could be held recently in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other war-torn places, it could also happen in the North East of Nigeria.
Gov. Geidam who addressed the press afterwards said that they asked Pres. Goodluck Jonathan to deploy more troops ahead of the general elections as those currently on ground in the affected states were not enough to handle the security situation.
However, considering that elections would be held all over the country, it remains to be seen how many soldiers can be spared for just those three states.
The governor said, “We have come to brief the President on the security features of our various states, we have come to greet him and we told him of the challenges we have been facing.
“We are appealing to the Federal Government to deploy more troops in addition to what we have on ground to arrest the situation in our various states.
“We need more troops, the troops that we have on ground in our various states are not enough to contain the situation, so we have appealed to the Federal Government to deploy additional troops with full equipment to tame the situation.
“Elections will hold in the states. Election will hold, that is the position of the electoral commission and definitely in all those areas where insurgency exists, elections will hold.”
Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, on his part said elections must hold in the affected states to send a strong signal to the insurgents.
He said by not holding elections in the states, the government would be seen to have given in to the antics of the sect.
The governor argued that elections could be conducted in Internally Displaced Person’s camps.