Kaduna community begs terror groups to allow elections hold

The community leader said having an agreement with the terrorists is the only way election can be held in the troubled areas.

With less than one week to the 2023 general elections, the people of the Birnin-Gwari in Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State said they’ve started consultations with various terror groups towards a successful poll in the area.

This was disclosed by the Chairman of the Birnin-Gwari Emirate Progressive Union (BEPU ), Ishaq Kasai, in a statement on Saturday, February 18, 2025.

According to Ishaq, the move became necessary as no fewer than 50,000 people have been internally displaced as a result of security challenges caused by terrorists activities in about 100 communities in the area.

The Chairman said getting the various terror groups committed to a truce will enable dwellers in 10 out of the 11 political wards in the area to exercise their rights to elect their leaders in the February 25 election.

He reiterated that only local arrangements with the terror groups could guarantee the locals a safe participation in the upcoming election in the area.

The statement read: As we are approaching 2023 general elections, our major concern is for our people, including the internally displaced persons, to be given the opportunity to exercise their franchise at their respective secondary locations by voting their choices in the election without any fear or intimidation.

“At this point, we wish to commend the effort made in this regard by the Independent National Electoral Commission in relocating some of the Poling Units from the sacked communities to various points where the respective eligible voters relocated and are residing as IDPs. This will, indeed, go a long way in providing them with an opportunity to exercise their franchise.

“The second issue is on facilitating movements of the election officials and materials on the election day to various units in the local government, especially to areas where security problems are high, such as the Eastern and Western parts of the local government.

“There are 11 political wards in Birnin-Gwari and 10 of these wards are facing security challenges that if measures are not proactively taken will hinder the election processes.”

“However, we are aware of the arrangements being made locally to address these challenges, especially by possibly establishing contact with the respective terrorist groups in the most hostile areas in order to allow successful conduct of the 2023 Elections in the area.

“It is noted that this same approach was adopted successfully during the Census Enumeration Area Demarcation that took place recently where, with the permission of the bandits, all the areas were visited by the Census functionaries and demarcated.

“We, therefore, observe that, based on experience, only local arrangements through diplomatic means in form of reaching to these terrorist groups for negotiation diplomatically could allow the 2023 Elections to hold successfully in about 10 political Wards with hundreds of Poling Units in Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area.

“For now, due to security problems, INEC has already cancelled one PU in Gayam Ward of the LG. This cancelled PU is among the 240 PUs recently cancelled by INEC in Nigeria due to high-security threats.

“We are therefore advising the Authorities to engage relevant stakeholders, especially community leaders in all arrangements for success of carrying out 2023 general Elections in Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area.”

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