Linus Oota, Lafia
The Tiv Youth Organization in Nasarawa State has appealed to the Nasarawa State Independent Electoral Commission (NASIEC) to postpone local government elections scheduled for May 26, citing inadequate security in the southern senatorial zone of the state where the Tiv people are dominant.
According to a press statement signed by its president Peter Ahemba, and made available to our correspondent in Lafia, the polls come at a time when the Tiv people are not secure enough to return to their villages, as herdsmen attacks and killings still persist.
Ahemba said that holding the council election will amount to disfranchising “our people and of course, a violation of the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended in 1999.
According to him, “we call on NASIEC to suspend all arrangements being made for the scheduled election, pending the return of peace to the affected communities so as to allow for full participation by our eligible men and women in the interest of fairness and justice.
The statement continued: “We are optimistic that this patriotic call for the suspension of the exercise will be considered by the state electoral umpire and, where that is not the case, the association will be left with no option than to institute a legal action against it…
“It is no longer news that the Tiv people, particularly in the southern senatorial districts comprising Awe, Doma, Keana, Obi and Lafia local government areas of the state, have been chased out of their ancestral homes by Fulani herdsmen, including the wanton destruction of the lives and properties of our people.
“We deemed it pertinent to draw the attention of the state government and other stakeholders involved that holding such [an] election at this time will amount to [a] monumental injustice against the Tiv people of the state, who are still in various Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across the state and beyond,” it concluded.