Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
The Boko Haram attack early Saturday morning on Geidam in Yobe State prevented the state Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Geidam, from taking part in Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Geidam, a border town to the governor’s hometown, Bukarti in Yunusari Local Government Area, fell to an early Boko Haram attack and its security situation prevented the governor from travelling.
For the governor to get to his hometown to exercise his franchise, he had to pass through Geidam and he was advised by his security to forget about voting.
Abdullahi Bego, the spokesman of the governor, confirmed the development to journalists in Damaturu.
Bego, however, said the situation was under control and voting was going on in the governor’s hometown but added that the governor could not partake in the exercise.
“The security agencies would naturally seek to reinforce and increase security around the governor for him to travel to cast his vote.
“The increased security around the governor will mean that vital security resources that are needed elsewhere in the state would have to be diverted and allocated to the governor,” the governor’s spokeperson said.
It was gathered that the governor, after consultation with security agencies decided that it was more prudent to make the sacrifice.
“It is better and more useful for the security agents, including soldiers, police, civil defence, DSS, to focus their attention on providing security for the election than devoting large security contingent for the governor to cast his vote,” Bego said.
Gaidam, who is also a senatorial candidate in the election, commended security agencies for their effort to ensure a peaceful and successful election across the state.
Meanwhile, Alhaji MaiMala Buni, the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate in Yobe, said adequate preparations by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies ensured the success of the elections in the state.
The gubernatorial candidate made the observation after casting his vote on Saturday in Damaturu. He said the timely commencement of the elections, adequate provision of election materials and security to the electorate made the election successful.
“The massive turnout of voters was encouraged by the security apparatus put in place and the commitment to the preparations made by INEC.
“The turnout is very impressive and the momentum should be maintained,” he said.