- The Nigerian army says it is ready for the Rivers bye-election
- It however explained that its role is to to forestall violence
- The army said soldiers have been banned from polling units
The Nigerian Army has said that its personnel will be on standby to forestall possible violence in the Port Harcourt III state constituency bye-election slated for Aug. 18.
Col. Aminu Iliyasu, spokesman of the Nigerian Army, 6 Division, Port Harcourt, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday, August 13.
NAN reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will conduct the bye-election to fill the House of Assembly vacated by Victor Ihunwo to become a local government council chairman.
According to Iliyasu, soldiers will be stationed at strategic points and will not be involved in the election process unless called upon.
“We are not directly involved in the election and no soldier is going to be deployed in any election duty.
“It is only the police and Department of State Security that has 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 in case our service is needed.”
Iliyasu said that soldiers had been banned from going into polling centres and escorting polling materials to the centres.
Meanwhile, Nigerian Army has reacted to the recent riot by some troops in Maiduguri, Borno state capital. The Army explained that some soldiers who participated in the riot had erroneously assumed that a review of troops deployments would negatively affect them.
In a statement sent to NAIJ.com and signed by Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, deputy director public relations, Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole, calm was restored after the troops were addressed by theatre commander, Major General Abba Dikko.
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