The Nigerian Army on Friday said soldiers would be on standby to forestall possible violence in Saturday’s council elections in Rivers.
Col. Aminu Iliyasu, Spokesman of the Nigerian Army 6 Division, Port Harcourt, told our reporters that soldiers would be deployed at strategic points several kilometres away from polling centres.
He explained that the army was adopting that position because “we are not directly involved in the election and no soldier is going to be deployed for any election duty’’.
According to Iliyasu, it is only the Police and Department of State Security that have the constitutional responsibility to provide security in the election.
“However, we are always on alert whenever there is election. We will only be on standby at the periphery in case our services are needed,” he said.
Iliyasu said that soldiers were banned from going into polling centres and escort polling materials to the centres.
The Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) will conduct the elections in the 23 local government areas of the state.