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Insecurity hampers poll plans in northeastern Nigeria

Insecurity hampers poll plans in northeastern Nigeria

Nigeria

A surge in attacks by Boko Haram and Islamic State West African province is hampering elections plans in northeastern Nigeria.

Tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes since December in a region already sheltering 1.8 million displaced persons, according to UN figures.

“Before we flew from our home town, they said we must come and vote in an IDP camp if not they will not take their ballot box to our home town, that is why they chased us out of our town to here. REPORTERS VOICE: “Who chased you? Boko Haram chased us. They (Boko Haram) are the ones that told us not to vote in our town, that we should go to the IDP camp and vote, and then return to back to our town later”, said Abba Umar, an internally displaced person.

Everything is for now scattered, but we will try our best to see how we organise all these scattered locations and scattered voting population.

There was widespread vote-buying in displaced camps in 2015. Election observers fear that people streaming into such camps could worsen vote-rigging.

In Borno, the state worst hit by the decade-old Islamist insurgency, electoral officials have been carrying out voter registration drives in the camps and in towns where people have fled. But the effort is beset with problems.

Ya Bawa Kolo is the head of Borno state emergency management agency.

“Everything is for now scattered, but we will try our best to see how we organise all these scattered locations and scattered voting population. Definitely, we have to go and engage with INEC, they have written a letter to us, the secretary has the communication and based on that we will do some follow-up to see that we organize all these scattered populations ‘’, she said.

Islamic State and Boko Haram have both stated they plan to disrupt the election by conducting attacks, the United States Embassy said in a statement in January.

Attacks also surged in the run-up to the 2015 election.

Reuters

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