Voters in Buni yadi, the headquarters of Gujba local government area of Yobe State, have threatened to boycott elections as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, relocated voting to Damaturu, the Yobe state capital.
Last Sunday, Boko Haram militants launched an attack on military brigade in Buni yadi, killing an officer and 3 soldiers before they were neutralised by the military.
Speaking to Daily Trust on Friday, aggrieved electorate claimed that INEC’s decision was motivated by elites that had refused to return to their ancestral homes.
INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state Alhaji Ahmad Makama told our correspondent that the voting areas were relocated to Damaturu after a careful security considerations by heads of security, INEC and all other stakeholders in the council.
“The securities had declared the area unsafe for the election. So safety of live is not guaranteed and we cannot expose our men and materials to any insecurity. That is why we relocated them to Damaturu,” he said.
Alhaji Lawan Garin Goni, the Sarkin Malamai of Buni yadi, said the relocation of the centres to Damaturu would disenfranchise not less than 70 percent voters in the town.
He said that many people said they would not leave their families behind to travel and cast their votes in Damaturu.
“I have not less than thirty registered voters under me. Now only me would go and vote, my wives and students that are eligible voters will not go as far as Damaturu to vote. That would be the problem in every household, ” he said.
Mamman Sarkin Fawa, said that electorate in the town were enthusiastic about the election until the late evening’s announcement.
“As community leader, I must go and vote, but I want to assured you that 90 percent would not vote this time around because people here are looking for money to feed, let alone transporting themselves to Damaturu for election,” he explained.