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23 parties want Borno polls postponed

23 parties want Borno polls postponed
February 26
23:42 2015
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Twenty-three political parties in Borno state have appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone elections in the state till September.

The parties cited the current security situation in the state.

At a press conference in Maiduguri on Thursday, Babagana Musa, chairman of inter-party advisory council in the state, alleged that the state was not ready for the poll.

“After holding series of stakeholders’ meetings, we finally resolved that it was necessary to call for the extension of the 2015 general election in Borno state,” Musa said.

“Up till this moment, INEC has not distributed PVCs in 175 polling units and this means approximately 500,000 eligible voters will be denied the right to vote in 2015.

“Besides that, the lives and safety of opposition party officials and supporters are in great danger due to activities of the ruling party’s thugs. A case in point was recent incident when flags of opposition were destroyed and supporters ‎beaten to state of coma when the governor was on a visit to the general hospital.”

The parties accused APC of fomenting trouble in the state and called for an interim government at the expiration of the tenure of Kashim Shettima, governor of the state.

“The ruling APC has violated Section 94 (1) by possession of weapons at rally, while Section 96 (1) was also violated as the ruling party has ‎directly or indirectly used force and violence during political campaigns,” Musa said.

“We therefore call on the national assembly to set in motion a resolution to constitute a government of state unity on 29th May, 2015 at the expiration of the incumbent administration so that all good people of Borno will have a sense of belonging.”

INEC postponed the election initially scheduled for February 14 and February 28 because of the insurgency in the northeast.

But on Wednesday, Kenneth Minimah, the chief of army staff, expressed optimism that the military would meet the target of overpowering the insurgents within six weeks in order for the election to hold on March 28 and April 11.

The All Progressives Congress (APC), Kowa Party, All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Africa Alliance (AA) did not support the call for further postponement of the election.

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