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Soldiers storm states, FCT ahead of elections

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armyBARELY three days to the Presidential and National Assembly elections, there is significant military presence in some state capitals, The Guardian has learnt.

This comes as the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) decision to shift the general elections, earlier scheduled for February 14, 2015, to March 28, turned out to be a good one after all.
It specifically created opportunity for more potential voters — about 11 million of them who otherwise would have been unable to vote — to acquire the all-important Permanent Voter Cards (PVC).

Figures from the electoral umpire, indicate that, prior to February 7, 2015 postponement, the total number of collected PVCs was 45,829,808, representing 66.58 per cent of the total number of registered voters. But the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu, disclosed that after the six week-postponement about 56,431,255, representing 81.98 per cent of the total number of voters have, by last Saturday, collected the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

Uneasy calm enveloped Kano yesterday, when security operatives were deployed to the metropolis. In what seems a show of strengthen, hundreds of security operatives attracted attention when they stormed the city in 30 brand-new Toyota Hilux vans, driving through major roads of the state.

In Lagos State, the soldiers were deployed at night and disbanded as early as 6 a.m., so they are not detected.

They engage in stop-and-search operations, screening motorists and content of their vehicles.

They are most visible on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway and were seen checking vehicles as at 10 p.m. Monday night.

Heavy security, also, has been mounted at the Lagos State Office of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

In Osun State, soldiers were sighted at the entrance of major roads leading to Osogbo, the state capital.

The soldiers mounted roadblocks at various locations, including Gbongan-Osogbo, Ilesa-Osogbo, Ibokun-Osogbo, Ogbomoso-Osogbo roads, and Iwo-Osogbo roads.

The Guardian, however, observed that the soldiers — said to be on special election duty — were civil in their approach to motorists, who slowed down on getting to the roadblocks.

In Ekiti, soldiers are yet to be deployed, even as security sources said they would arrive the state on Thursday, to assist the police in ensuring peace during the polls.

The state Police Command has also banned all street protests to forestall breakdown of law and order.

Reacting to the development, in a statement, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State told its members to resist illegal arrests, raising the alarm over alleged selective invitation of its leaders by the Ekiti State Police Command for “purposes that are not clear to the party.”

The party also said it had information that authorities in Abuja had sent a contingent of armed men to lock down the state and start arresting APC members from Wednesday, March 25, to unsettle the party ahead of March 28 presidential and National Assembly polls.

Also, soldiers have been deployed to major streets of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. From Mokola through to Gate, Iwo road, Yemetu Oja Oba, Molete, Challenge, Eleyele and UI- Ojoo, the soldiers were seen in large groups at various strategic points.

Residents, however, went about their duties without molestation from the soldiers, while human and vehicular activities went on as usual.
Some residents who spoke with The Guardian on the development said they had no problem with the ‘alleged deployment’ as long as the soldiers didn’t harass innocent persons.

Others, however, kicked against the development, saying it was a ploy by government to cause fear and panic among the electorate; thereby preventing them from coming out during the Saturday polls.

In Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, checks by The Guardian revealed that soldiers were last seen patrolling in armoured personnel carriers at the weekend.

Though the motive for the patrol could not be ascertained from security sources in the city, the troops drove through Aggrey Road in the Borokiri axis, Lagos Bus-stop to Isaac Boro Park and then into the densely populated Diobu area.

A member of one of the political parties said they have been reliably informed that the soldiers would be deployed during this weekend’s elections.

As at yesterday, there were no soldiers patrolling the streets of Port Harcourt. However, scores of policemen and Department of State Security personnel, in 10 Hilux patrol vans, drove through the busy Ikwerre Road into the Diobu area of Port Harcourt.

Similarly, following the directives of the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 6 Command, many anti-riot policemen have been deployed around Port Harcourt to embark on intensive stop-and-search on all vehicles, as well as to raid black spots and criminal hideouts with a view to recovering arms, explosives and other incriminating items.

The presence of armed security operatives at strategic areas in Makurdi, Benue State capital and environs has increased, as observed yesterday.

Armed soldiers and policemen were seen at the Government House Round About, High-level roundabout, the Wurukum round about, Otukpo, Gkoko and Katsina-Ala.

In Kaduna, security operatives manned key locations in the state.

In the suburb, armed soldiers were seen patrolling particularly in Malali, Ungwar Shanu, Badarawa, Barnawa, Kawo and Hanyan Banki,

Some of the armed soldiers in Malali arrested some hoodlums who were caught with cannabis and other drugs. One of the security operatives, who pleaded anonymity said: “We are going to interrogate those arrested thoroughly, and if possible keep them until after the general elections.”

The development is despite the judgment early this week by Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos, who declared the use of soldiers in an election is undemocratic.

The judge consequently granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Federal Government and the service chiefs from deploying soldiers for the general elections without the approval of the National Assembly.

Delivering judgment in a suit filed by House of Representatives member, Femi Gbajabiamila, he said any election which is militarised through deployment of soldiers where there is no insurrection is “anti-democratic” and not in consonance with constitutional democracy and civil rule.

Gbajabiamila had sought a declaration that deployment of soldiers for elections is unconstitutional.

President Goodluck Jonathan, the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and the Attorney-General of the Federation are the respondents.

The plaintiff said the Federal Government deployed soldiers during the governorship elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states contrary to the Constitution.

Justice Buba upheld arguments by the plaintiff’s counsel, Mr. Seni Adio, that it is wrong to deploy soldiers arbitrarily. The judge dismissed the defendants’ objections to the court’s jurisdiction and to the plaintiff’s locus standi, saying Gbajabiamila had the legal right to demand an interpretation of the constitution by the court.

However, the authorities of the Nigeria Police force has said it has made adequate provision of its personnel for the 150,000 polling units of the country, even as it reiterated the call for Nigerians to vacate the centers after casting their votes. The new directive contradicts previous reports quoting the police as saying that voters could protect their votes.

The Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, also gave an order restricting movement on the days of election to all members of the public, except those on essential duty.

IGP Suleiman Abba, who gave the directive while addressing journalists in Abuja yesterday, said while the Police have made provision for all polling units, there are contingency plans where situations get out of control.

He said: “There are intervention teams arranged to intervene where the need arises. That is our stance and that is our arrangement, any other strategy we will keep it to ourselves,” he said.

The order restricting vehicular movements takes effect from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00pm only on Saturdays, March 28 and April 11, respectively.

The IGP said: “This total restriction of movements order applies to all, except for ambulances, fire service trucks and others on essential duties. Consequently, travellers and citizens who intend to use roads on these days and hours are advised to plan alternative times for their travelling.”



20 Comments
  • Sunny0099

    3 DAYS TO PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS!!!
    GROWING REASONS WHY JONATHAN PACK -N-GO…..
    1. The Chibok Girls
    2. NNPC AS GOVT ATM
    3. Police pension fund
    4. Missing $20Billion
    5. $9million Arms deal Embarrassment in SA
    6. EKITIGATE Election fraud
    7. Immigration job SCAM (He is just meeting the victims and dolling out money )
    8.DEPLETING External Reserves.
    9. Devaluation of Naira to N250 to a $
    10. Oil theft Increase
    11. REWARDING THIEVES with NATIONAL honours and appointments
    12. CRIPPLING OF THE EFCC
    13. REFUSAL TO FIX NIGERIAN REFINERIES
    14. Skyrocketed ELECTRICITY Bills
    15. POLARIZATION OF NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS
    16. STEALING IS NOT CORRUPTION
    17. National Assembly INVASION by Police
    19. Stella Oduah Aviation Scam (THE BULLET PROOF CARS…)
    20. Kerosene subsidy
    21. Last minute fighting of Insurgency
    22. Sentencing soldiers to death for asking for weapons to fight
    23. Directly supporting and paying 10million USD as salary to terorist Asari and Terrorist Tompolo amongst others
    24.
    Palling around with boko haram chieftains in Niger and Dafty’s
    inability to capture, extract information and bring to justice a singe
    captured boko haram fighter up till today
    25. Mrs Dafty’s personal terrorist bombing campaigns in Rivers state (Stoning the opposition)
    26.
    Dafty’s work for the benefits of enemies of Nigeria – Handpicking
    Abacha’s son as PDP candidate for Kano, stoppng FaniKayode,treasury
    looting case and appointing him in his campaign, supporter of Anenih,
    IBB, and other treasury looters who should be in jail
    27. Conversion
    of MOPOL to Meiguard of the rich while the poor wallow in abject
    insecurity; and using regular police, eg. Mbu, as political thugs!
    28.
    Postponing elections by refusing to provide security when in fact,
    elections will last for only one day, and the entire armed forces and
    police in Nigeria could have been deployed to secure just that 10hrs of
    the election day.
    29. Sending troops to look for Sambisa forest in Tinubu’s Ikoyi house
    30. Giving AIT 10billion to air false and negative videos on APC.
    31. REJECTION OF THE CARD READER.
    32. CONFIRMATION OF [ Obanikoro ]THE ELECTION RIGGER as a MINISTER
    33. FAILURE TO PUBLICLY DECLARE his ASSETS saying “I don’t give a damn”
    34. BURNING OF INEC OFFICE.
    35. SPONSORING of ethnic MILITIAS TO STOP POLLS (e.g. MASSOB, OPC)
    36. EMBARASSING PHONE CALL to the Moroccan KING…
    37. Babysitting Boko Haram until it became the global threat it now is with ISIS.
    38. USING the Boko Haram fight as an alibi to further his political ambition.
    39. pardoning of Alams.
    40. Refusing to fight BH until 6 weeks ago.
    41. Refusing to visit NE and military post until 2 months ago

    42.President Jonathan met the National Debt at $26bn, today it is $70bn..
    Jonathan met Excess Crude account at $20bn today is $2bn.
    Jonathan met unemployment rate at 11.8%, today it is 24%.

    43. Jonathan met
    debt servicing at 10%, today debt servicing today is 20%.
    Jonathan met the Naira/Dollar rate at N119. The Naira/Dollar rate today
    is N225– N230.

    44. Jonathan met the poverty level 54%, today poverty level is about 71%.
    Jonathan met recurrent expenditure at 62%, today recurrent expenditure
    is 86%.

    45. Jonathan met the GDP Growth at 11%, today GDP Growth is about
    6%.
    Jonathan met petrol price N65, today petrol price is N87 following its
    recent reduction from N97.46. Today the stock market that was thriving before Jonathan came is down by
    N3.4trillion in 12 months.
    The prognosis for four more years under the same management looks
    nothing but dire

    46. Frittered Away N1 Trillion Of Tax Payers’ Money On Hate Campaign Trying To Defeat Idea Of Change
    47. Deploying SOLDIERS for ELECTION despite COURT ORDER to the CONTRARY

    • Ojiyovwi

      All said and done, you cannot seriously suggest Buhari as alternative to GEJ. Think again and harder this time. Nigerians have been done a favour by APC whose hierarchy must know that Buhari needed to be smoked our for the future. This makes APC more valuable to Nigeria but for the future when they rightly claim to have saved us from the serpent behind the insurgency of BH. Buhari is aging and he will not be able physically to match his BH foot-soldiers as he threatened the last time he lost the elections. To my Hausa and Fulani brethren, rejoice that you will no longer accept mediocrity as you have enough well educated and socially motivated children to be free role models that are shackled to this stupid Islamic sharia nonsense.

    • Ademola..

      Irony of the whole thing is that Buhari would be disqualified for not being eligible to contest forthcoming election.
      #GEJ4Naiga.

      • Aniebiet

        If this is
        the sponsor (Tinubu) of BUHARI, how then can he fight corruption?

        The
        “Chichidodo” is a kind of bird that does not like excreta, but it feeds on
        maggots. (BUHARI).

        *
        Chicago Certificate

        * First Nation Airline—(N55 b)

        * Bourdillon Ikoyi House — (N1.6b)

        *Oriental Hotel — (N25 b)

        *Maiyegun land project – (N20 b). margot

        *
        Lekki concession company.

        *A 250 hectare of land at Ajah
        junction on Lekki Road –(N35 b)

        *A 1,000 hectare of land at Lakowe – (N 75 b )

        *Tax collector: OY, OS, LA, and OG (N15 b/ year in Lagos only)

        *N48 b, government finance property for self at Queens Drive.

        *Madam Senator.

        *Miss president Market Women
        Association.

        *Hon Rep son -inlaw

        *Tejuoso market (joint ownership)

        *The Nation.

        *TV Continantal/Radio

        * Ikeja shopping Mull

        *Renaissance Hotel

        *Acquired Apapa Amusement Park.

        *Forced private TV Decoders on all L.G.A. & L.C.D.As.

        *And many more….

        THE GREEDY LION OF BOURDILLON IS USING BUHARI AS A SHILD AND SMOKE SCREEN
        TO GET TO THE NATION TREASURY—- VOTE WISELY.

        FASHOLA IS THE MOST CORRUPT
        GOVERNOR, CAN HE GIVE A HONEST ACCOUNT HOW MUCH HE IS GENERATED IN LAGOS STATE?
        AND HOW MUCH IS BEING SPENT?

        * NO WATER IN LAGOS STATE

        * MOST OF THE ROADS LEADING TO RESIDENTIAL AREAS ARE BAD

        * DOUBLE TAXATION

        * ENCOURAGES THE “AGBERO” AND OTHER MOTOR PARK MISCREANT TO MOLEST
        COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTERS WITH ILLEGAL DUES.

      • Sunny0099

        That is one of the script your party and Jonathan have planned. But GMB and the rest of Nigerians are always ahead. It will be more advisable for Jonathan to start preparing for life in OTUOKE after his 6 fruitless yeas in power rather than further digging himself in more hole that will eventually land him in ICC’s custody…..

    • Wilson Uzochukwu

      what did you call yourself sunny0099, fake, you are so ignorant, i score you zero, cos the man you are condemning
      seems to have better ideas than you. take for example you mentioned depleted foreign reserve, what do you need need large foreign reserve for when your banks need those money, why put it abroad, when you can make good use of it to develop your country

      • Sunny0099

        Let Jonathan continue to rule you and your houshold after the election. Nigerians are tired of his dumb ideas. My message is for rational Nigerians and not for clowns like you. Idiot.

    • Toby

      You are everywhere. You just lost this election.

  • Daniel Johnson

    APC no chance for rigging.

  • francis

    apc no chance for intimidation and rigging.likewise to forment trouble after you lose the election.that satanic judgement have been dealt with.

  • Gunju

    It is and will be GEJ till 2019 By the special grace of GOD

  • Yomi Ade

    The soldiers should stay away from polling booths. If the intention of Nigerian army is not to create another civil war, my advice to them is to stay neutral. Ekiti election episode is a sad example of military role in a democratic environment.

  • Yomi Ade

    My fellow Nigerians do not allow military presence to intimidate you on the election day. The last six years of corrupt Jonathan administration must be terminated on March 28, 2015 through electoral process. Your chidrens’ future is hanging on this election. We can not afford another four years of corrupt leaders at Federal Level.

  • Omosaje

    It is interesting how this “Monkey Soldiers” can not face Bokom Haram, but they can face unarmed citizens on Nigeria.

  • Obasi OFIA

    I think that the question of whether or not to deploy the army to man strategic positions for security reasons is the preserve of the Commander In Chief. Comments by other citizens are welcome but at best as expressed opinions or advisory. Besides, there had been other elections where army were deployed and nobody said anything. The problem now is that the present president is not a good student of Machiavelli who holds that ‘it is safer for a Prince to be feared than to be loved’. Although memory could be short, I do believe can’t remember that Obj, Abacha and IBB successfully passed through Nicholo’s said school. If Mr. President wants to be proactive in this regard, he deserves commendation and not condemnation.

  • Hinds Peter

    No.Apartheid is not the solution to black peoples social and economic problems.I do not care what the pundits say.It was apartheid South Africa that declared they were the only ones capable of developing black people.That black people could not rule them selves.There have been many systems claiming to bring Utopia to planet earth.Europe stubbornly promoted monarchy as a solution.Anti monarchists brought communism and trade unionism.Moderates took the democratic road.We have seen all shades and color of political opinion.Each one bringing nirvana or the mentioned Utopia.I suggest a mixture of a number of systems as a rational form of government.In my opinion apathy has no part in government or sub government.I rebuke Cave Hill in the name of Menelik.I also can not understand why Ethiopia with Addis Ababa it’s established capital.Should fraternize with those below Hinds Hill.What is this a private army.Or an invasion force.Well report to colonel Banfield with in 2400 hours.My only sin was that I obeyed orders.At the end may I be translated to the happy hunting ground in the sky.Where a chief is destined to go.About rampant crime and corruption in government.God is the judge.Is it not a bit late to investigate crimes in government.I hope the queen(Elizabeth)enjoys her breakfast tea and that there is a fruitful tea harvest.Lastly I would like to say that Martin Luther King never campaigned for Indian and Minorities rights.There was also controversy at that time as to if an Indian could be called black.Comrade Indian comrade minority we hail you.Peter Carlos Hinds.Commander.Rightful King of Ashanty.Barbados.

  • episteme

    The question is ….. Will Nigerians come out to cast their vote if there are no security personnel’s ? We have seen past occurrence of how touts intimidate people and the electoral officers in charge. That is the fear of the common man who wants to exercise his civic responsibility.

  • Sunshine

    We needed the military as most Nigerins because of what they believe have become illiterate minded. For the health and safety of the workers and Nigetians going to exercise their civil rights. The military is not out their to intimidate any one but to make sure there I no blood shed. People I believe will come out to vote.

  • daposhogbola

    IBB-
    DO NOT DENIGRATE THE ARMED FORCES/TV DOCUMENTARY;-

    NIGERIANS
    ARE SMART ENOUGH TO SEPARATE FORMER HEADS OF STATE TOTALLY COMMITTED TO UNITY
    AND PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE OF NIGERIA- YAKUBU GOWON , IBRAHIM BABANGIDA,
    ABDULSALAMI ABUBAKAR,ALHADJI SHEHU SHAGARI, CHIEF E.SHONEKAN

    AND
    THOSE WHO FOR GREED, EGOCENTRIC REASONS MAKE RECKLESS IRRESPONSIBLE COMMENTS
    PUBLICKLY AND WRITE SENSELESS LETTERS ON
    PAGES OF NEWSPAPERS INSTEAD TO OFFERING INVALUABLE PIECES OF ADVICE PRIVATELY
    TO SITTING PRESIDENTS

    IT
    MUST BE PAINFUL FO INNOCENT ONES WHEN SUCH UNDIGNIFIED GENERALIZATIONS ARE MADE.

    I
    THINK THE RETIRED GENERALS MUST CALL THOSE WHO ARROGATE TO

    THEMSELVES
    THE ROLES OF PLAYING GOD ON NATIONAL MATTERS

    PERHAPS
    , YOU SHOULD MAKE AS URGENT CALL FOR THESE RETIRED FORMER MILITARY HEADS OF STATE TO QUIT PARTISAN
    POLITICS ALL TOGETHER AND SET RULES FOR THEIR CONDUCT IN ORDER TO PRESERVE THE
    INGEGRITY OF THE ENTIRE BODY

    IN
    RECENT TIMES, NIGERIANS HAVE COME TO APPRECIATE YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS ON NATIONAL
    MATTERS AS WELL AS THOSE OF GENERAL GOWON, GENERAL ABDULSALAMI ALHADJI SHEHU SHAGARI AND CHIEF EARNEST
    SHONEKAN

    I
    WISH WHO EVER IS LEFT OUT WOULD EMULATE THE REST OF YOU

    NIGERIA
    IS BIGGER THAN EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US

    STEVE
    DAPO SHOGBOLA,

    LAGOS,
    NIGERIA

  • sunkanmi sekooni

    The North ants power back at all cost. It not by ballot then the boys will come in. When the devil talks be sure it is from the bottom of fire. Jonathan is being packed aside now. The North runs the show. babanigida already sensitize them boys & what the courts said has been re interpreted. Jonathan is been so disrespected in so many ways both subtly & otherwise. Babangida should deal with it. It is a century where we are not afraid to say what we feel. He may not like it but this generation, it is ok to speak. I weep for Nigeria. We are all suppose to be equal in Nigeria but it is obvious some section feel they above some and must be in power at most times & disrespect those who don’t belong to their tribe but was only got there by happenstance. We are no fools, we know what is about to happen. WE KNOW. Unfortunately some clueless are about to throw their hard worn freedom away like the baby with the bath water.