Nigeria Presses on With Presidential Elections Despite Boko Haram Threats


The jihadist terror group Boko Haram announced the terrorist group will target polling units during the Nigerian elections on February 14. Despite the threat, the National Association of Istekiri Graduates (NAIG) said postponing the elections would be “disastrous.”

There are rumors Boko Haram possesses Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) to hand off to female suicide bombers within the group. This way the women can easily maneuver into a polling station and blow it up.

“By this information, therefore, Nigerians, especially female voters, are warned to remain vigilant and also jealously guard and preserve their PVCs to avoid the possibility of their being lost to these bad elements who will put them to untoward uses,” said Mike Omeri, Coordinator of the National Information Centre.

The National Electoral Commission (INEC) wants to delay the election “over fears that not enough registered voters would actually be able to cast ballots.” The terrorist group displaced over 1.6 million Nigerians in the past five years, which means numerous Nigerians do not have their card. INEC said only 44 million out of 68.8 million registered voters own a card and many of the ones who do not have a card live in areas under attack by Boko Haram. The organization “extended the deadline for picking up cards to Feb. 8, but if the number of cards distributed by then is too low, the commission may decide to postpone the vote.” However, INEC Chairman Attahiru Jega said distribution will continue “until the eve of the election.” They are also allowing displaced people in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno, to vote at internally displaced centers.

However, NAIG insists the government should not postpone the elections. They asked INEC “to redouble its efforts” to distribute the PVCs to citizens in Boko Haram areas. Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima claimed “[I]f elections could be held in places like Afghanistan and Syria with ongoing conflicts, there is no excuse” to postpone elections in Nigeria. Boko Haram is based in Borno State and commits the majority of terrorism in the state.