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Female Suicide Bombers Threaten Nigeria Elections

Published: 06th February 2015 08:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th February 2015 08:56 PM   |  A+A-

By IANS

ABUJA: As the West African country of Nigeria prepares for presidential and general elections Feb 14 and 28, it is emerging that female suicide bombers are being prepared by the Islamic insurgency group Boko Haram to blow up polling stations but the continental body African Union (AU) says it has deployed about 7,500 troops from the member nations of the Lake Chad Basin Development Commission (LCBDC) to combat terror threats.

The member countries of the LCBDC are Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Algeria, Central African Republic, Libya and Sudan.

Briefing media here, Mike Omeri, coordinator of the National Information Centre (NIC) and director general of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), said: "The 7,500 AU-backed multinational force is to be composed mainly in the Lake Chad Basin Commission areas. The modalities of the operation of this force are being worked out at a tactical meeting that started in the Republic of Cameroun."

Omeri said the Chadian chief of defence staff Major-General Ibrahim Seid Mahamat has arrived in Nigeria to consolidate plans to effect a trans-border operation with his Nigerian counterpart, Air Marshall Alex Badeh.

Meanwhile, the National Council of State have, after a seven-hour meeting Thursday to deliberate on the general elections and security issues in the country, became divided along party lines and could therefore not decide on whether to postpone the elections following renewed threats to peace in some parts of the country.

Following this, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), whose Chairman, Attahiru Jega, was at the meeting to brief the Council, was instructed to hold consultations with his national electoral commissioners, resident electoral commissioners (RECs) and the political parties to decide on whether the elections should go ahead as planned or be postponed.

In his briefing, Jega mentioned new developments from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in four states in the northeast of the country and said these could not be ignored by the Commission or taken lightly.

He told the Council of State that, though their state of preparedness may not be 100 percent or perfect, they were ready for the elections as scheduled. 

However, Jega was quick to point that "it is necessary to take into context the things outside the control of the commission such as attitude of politicians, political parties, candidates and voters, and significantly, security for election personnel, materials and voters in areas under the insurgency, which only the appropriate authorities can definitively speak on".

The Boko Haram seeks to enshrine the Islamic Sharia law in the constitution of Nigeria and has been a major security threat in Africa's most populous country since 2009.

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