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Boko Haram: Highway closure impedes peace accord by INEC in Yobe

The closure of Damaturu-Maiduguri-Potiskum highway has interrupted the signing of peace accord earlier scheduled to hold on Wednesday by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Also, most of the motorists, passengers and traders that were to attend weekly markets in Gaidam and Potiskum have been affected by the situation.

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The Resident Commissioner of INEC,  in Yobe, Alhaji Ahmad Makama, told newsmen at the venue of signing the peace accord, scheduled for today (Wednesday) that it has been postponed after the Army shut down the major roads linking to Damaturu.

He said the essence of the peace accord was to bring the politicians together to commit themselves in writing by signing the peace accord and to play the game according to the rule.

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“Most of these people we are expecting will come from other local governments of the state and the roads linking to Damaturu have been shut down by the Army.  Therefore we have agreed to shift the programme to later date of Thursday next week, January, 17”, he added.

Also, the Police Commissioner, Yobe State Command, Abdulmaliki Sunmonu, who was at the INEC office, confirmed that the road were closed by security agents while calling on resident to disregard as rumour the news that there is going to be an attack in the town.

He said, for level playing grounds, the peace accord must be postponed to ensure that all delegates coming from outside Damaturu participated.

Although the roads have been opened around 1:00pm but motorists, passengers and traders that had planned early for the day are still stranded.

“We came out since 7:10am and the soldiers told us to exercise patients. I was confused when the passengers asked me to refunds their fare, because I bought fuel with their money,” one of the motorists, Musa said.

He urged the military to communicate with the NURTW on time any time such operation would take place. “By doing that, we will be safe from the headache of passengers,” he said.

The chairman, National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Mamman Maikarfi, said that traders conveying passengers and animals to Potiskum livestock market have returned home.

“They spent transport fare from their villages but could not ply the major road to the market. Almost all of them have returned home. Also, passengers that are taking long distance rescheduled for tomorrow, but few had left,” he said.


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