The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has maintained that elections will hold in the Northeast region of Nigeria, despite the spate of insecurity.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Atahiru Jega, specifically noted that if elections could hold in more volatile Afghanistan and Iraq, they can hold in the troubled Northeast, which has been plagued by Boko Haram insurgency.
Jega spoke at a meeting with members of the Senate Committee on INEC on creation of polling units in the Northeast, Thursday.
The INEC boss noted that while it would be unreasonable to underestimate the security situation in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, elections could still hold in the three states.
Jega insisted that there was nothing unusual about the increase in the number of polling units.
The increase, he said, was based on prevailing needs.
His word: “We are having displacement of people, with people leaving where they live to live in camps; it is a serious challenge.
“Nobody can underestimate it, but the hope of everybody in this country is that this is a temporary problem and you cannot begin to plan long term based on a temporary thing”.
Jega said elections were held in several unstable nations, “including countries which are having problems like ours in terms of security; take Afgahnistan, take Iraq and so on”.
“We hope and pray that states where emergency is will stabilise sufficiently for us to be able to conduct elections that are relatively peaceful in those areas and we must plan for that eventuality”, he added.
INEC, according to Jega, is obliged to prepare for elections in all parts of Nigeria, even where there are displaced people, as long as there are registered voters.