Operations In Northeast Nigeria Yielding Results – Military

NigeriaDefence Spokesman, Major-General Chris Olukolade, says ongoing operations are beginning to yield the desired results from communities in Adamawa and Mongonu in Borno State.

Speaking on the ongoing operations in northeast Nigeria, he told Channels Television that coordinated assaults and counter operations are going on from all sides in collaboration with the Joint Task Force to ensure that normal sociopolitical and economy activities are restored in the country.

He said that this has been the focus before the polls and will continue during the polls and after, to ensure that the enemies of the state do not interfere with state activities.

Gombe Attack

The Defence Headquarters also says security forces have repelled an attack by Boko Haram militants on Gombe, the capital of Gombe State, in north eastern Nigeria.

Heavily armed members of the sect were said to have overwhelmed a security checkpoint at the outskirts of the city, before moving in to attack an Army barracks there.

The Police Spokesman in Gombe State, Fwaji Atajiri, told Channels Television that the militants threw grenade into the Army facility, which exploded and set off an inferno, but no casualty figure was reported.

Residents were said to have fled the area to escape the violence after they heard sound of heavily artillery.

However, Defence Spokesman, Major-General Chris Olukolade, said troops have successfully beat back the terrorists and pursuit has continued to ensure that they are effectively removed from the state.

Olukolade confirmed that the attacks were used to distribute materials aimed at causing voter apathy amongst Nigerians resident in the state.

Boko Haram militants have launched several attacks on Gombe city in recent times but has not been able to establish any foothold in the state.

West African Allied Forces

The West African Allied Forces led by the Nigerian military, supported by Chad, Niger and Cameroon, on Thursday stormed the Sambisa Forest in Borno State, which has been said to be the base of the Boko Haram insurgents, killing a good number of them.

The forest is widely believed to host some of the training camps and facilities of Boko Haram in the North-East.

It was learnt that the military high command decided to invade the vast forest in order to make the North-West safe for the general elections.

Nigeria’s electoral body, the National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) had postponed the country’s general elections, originally scheduled for February 2015, by six weeks at the request of the military to enable it improve the security situation in the northeast region before elections are conducted.

The President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on Friday reassured the international community of his determination to recover all the territories in the hand of Boko Haram as this was important for the presidential elections to be conducted peacefully in those areas.

According to the President, the military’s request was not an indication that Boko Haram would be completely wiped out but all the states in the north-east still in the hands of the Boko Haram terror group would be cleaned up to enable people in those areas to exercise their democratic rights.

Voter Apathy:participation and accountability missing- Mike Igini

Recently INEC commissioned a report on  voter apathy and the 2011 general elections.

Some quarters were not satisfied with the result from the report as the claim that poverty is the source for voter apathy.

The question is that how did the commission arrive at the conclusion of the report? what methodolody was used to reach the conclusion that poverty actually was responsible voter apathy?

Mike Igini, a Resident Electoral Commissioner for INEC for Cross River gave his view on  voter apathy.

Rights lawyer faults INEC survey on voter apathy

A report commissioned by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) on the root cause of voter apathy in the 2011 general elections in the country has come under heavy criticisms.

Human Rights lawyer, Femi Aborisade criticizing the report commissioned by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) on the root cause of voter apathy in the 2011 general elections

One of the critics of the report and Human Rights lawyer, Femi Aborisade questioned the data provided by INEC in its voter apathy survey. He said the survey lack content validity and without practical solutions.

Criticising the seventy page report commissioned by INEC, Mr Aborisade listed twelve shortcomings of the research findings earlier presented by lead researcher, Adigun Agbaje.
“If we assume that apathy can be measured by voters’ intention, the conclusion we can draw from the presentation of the lead researcher and the research report is that voter apathy is low in Nigeria or almost non-existent. But we all know that this does not conform to reality and our experiences,” he said.

Mr Agbaje however insisted that the findings of the research he supervised, is scientifically accurate.

“I am convinced that this is as scientific as we can get,” he said.

He said like other researches, the research on voter apathy had some obstacles.

“We have infrastructure challenges. For instance, there are some data that is supposed to be with INEC that they should have given us during the research but we could not get and there was nothing we could do about it,” he said.

The report which is a self-critique of INEC’s performance at the 2011 general elections blamed the commission, the government and politicians for voter apathy which is primarily responsible for bad governance experienced in the country.

In the survey conducted across twelve randomly selected states in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria, seventy-three per cent of the respondents adduced violence and inadequate security as major reasons behind voter apathy during the 2011 general elections.

INEC through this research report seeks to entrench democratic stability by reducing voter apathy and ensuring good governance. But the reviewer stamped his own observations on INEC’s inaction over the incessant political parties in the country.

The INEC’s Chairman of Electoral Institute, Lai Olurode said that they reason why INEC commissioned the research was to ensure that people have a say on who govern them.
“Election is a multi-dimensional kind of activity and in all facet people want to be sure that they have a say,” he said.

According to INEC, addressing the issues associated with voter apathy in Nigeria may go beyond apportioning blames, but ensuring laid out policies and interventions that would tackle the growing phenomenon ahead of the 2015 general elections.