Boko Haram Attack Stops Gaidam from Voting

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Ibrahim Gaidam

Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri

The people of Geidam in Yobe State were rudely woken from sleep as Boko Haram struck the town Saturday, thereby preventing the state governor, Mr. Ibrahim Gaidam from voting.

The governor could not exercise his civic right due to reports of attacks on two communities in the early hours of Saturday.

The first attack occurred in Gaidam town early in the day, which has already been brought under control and voting is now underway there.

Residents of the town told our correspondent on phone that the attackers were sighted at Maladari, a village located 7 kilometres to Geidam town around 3:23 am.

They arrivedGeidam around 6:35am and began shooting sporadically from all directions.The residents of the town, including women, aged have to flee the town.

One of the residents Mallam Abubakar told our correspondent at about 10am that: “I am currently taking refuge at Yunusari, the home town of the state governor.”

He said many residents had to flee in different directions. When asked about the elections, he said: “I am talking of my safety, you are talking of elections. We fell and I doubt if any of us is planning to go back there today. I do not think any of us even leave with our PVC.”

He said that many residents that fled the town are in the bush with their wives and children without direction. “We are suffering, we don’t know what to do, some of us could not even think of election.”

Geidam town had fallen under Boko Haram attack in recent times. During past attacks many soldiers were lost, including civilians and the warring Boko Haram.

The report said the security agencies would seek to reinforce and increase security around the governor for him to travel to cast his vote.

However, 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.

Millions of Nigerians are today voting to elect a president that will lead West Africa’s most populous country for another four years.

The voters will also elect 468 members of the National Assembly: the Senate and the House of Representatives.

A total of 73 presidential candidates are participating in today’s election. However, the contest is expected to be between incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC and ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the PDP.