Nigerian government orders border closure ahead of electionsStaff Writer | February 15, 2019
The Nigerian government on Thursday ordered the closure of all land borders to ensure a smooth process of the country's coming presidential election.
Africa Nigeria will hold general elections on Saturday
In a terse statement, Minister of Interior Abdulrahman Dambazau said the land borders will be closed from Friday to Sunday.
In a separate statement, Muhammad Babandede, comptroller-general of the Nigeria Immigration Service, said there would be a restriction of movements across the Nigerian borders during the election and on the days announced.
Likewise, the police said there would be a restriction of vehicular movement on Saturday, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. local time. According to a statement by the national police spokesman, Frank Mba, the measure was taken to ensure hitch-free polls.
"The restriction will assist the security agencies in effectively policing the electoral process, thereby preventing hoodlums and criminally-minded elements from hijacking and disrupting the electoral process," Mba said.
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. ■