From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
There was palpable excitement in communities in Gujba and Gulani local government areas of Yobe State, once Boko Haram strongholds, as local elections held on Saturday.
State Governor Mai Mala Buni, who spoke to newsmen at Buni Gari, his home town in Gujba, shortly after he cast his vote, described the exercise as his happiest moment.
‘Today, we are grateful to God that there was a large turnouts for the council elections without any intimidation or fear,’ the governor said.
He said the two local government areas of Gujba and Gulani were once overrun by Boko Haram, forcing residents the areas for safety. He noted that any person seen in the area a few years ago were either Boko Haram informants or sympathisers. He expressed gratitude to God for restoring relative peace to the area.
He noted that the election underscore a return of peace and civil authority which had been suspended in the area for a decade. The governor commended the people for their resilence and cooperation to ensure hitch-free election.
Gujba and Gulani are located in southern Yobe. Residents of the area said they participated in the last council poll in 2017, outside their area, as IDPs due to the poor security situation