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Nigeria opens borders after postponement of elections

Staff Writer | February 17, 2019
The Nigerian government ordered the re-opening of all the nation's borders following the postponement of presidential and national assembly polls by the electoral body.
Nigeria elections
Africa   The land borders were closed on Thursday
The land borders were closed on Thursday to ensure a smooth process of the elections earlier scheduled for Saturday.

In a brief statement, Muhammad Babandede, comptroller-general of the Nigeria Immigration Service, said the borders had been re-opened for the free movement of persons.

Babandede said immigration officers would continue their normal border control and patrol duties to ensure that all persons crossing Nigeria's land, air, and sea borders traveled with valid and authentic documents.

Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission on early Saturday announced a postponement of the polls by one week, citing issues bordering on logistics.

Security is often a major concern at Nigerian elections. Apart from politically-linked violence among supporters of rival political parties, the country's armed forces are in a battle with terror group Boko Haram, which is seeking to establish an Islamic state in the northeast region.