For security reasons, the Federal Government has ordered the closure of the country’s land and Sea borders on the days elections will be conducted.
Minister of Interior, Lieutenant Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd) speaking on the development on Friday in Abuja, said government was conscious of the security concerns and would do everything to ensure peaceful conduct of the general elections.
He spoke at the formal launch of Nigeria Internal Security and Public Safety Alert System, an integrated and single mobile application developed to assist the public access prompt response to emergencies and public concern under Federal Ministry of Interior Situation Coordination.
He said the border closure which would be temporary would take effect from midnight of February 16 until after the polling closes for presidential and parliamentary elections. He added that the borders would also be shut the same time for March 2 gubernatorial and state assembly elections.
The shutdown of the borders is to prevent foreign ‘mercenaries’ from coming to disrupt peaceful conduct of the elections.
Nigeria is bordered by Benin to the west, Cameroon to the east and also has borders with Chad and Niger in the north. There are concerns about security, especially the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents in the north east.
The Minister said: “I want to assure you that we are very conscious of our borders, particularly now and everything we can do to protect our borders during elections, we will do.
“All road borders will be temporally closed particularly on the Election Day, February 16 until the elections of that day are over. Also on the 2 March, it will be the same thing,” he said.
The representative of the Nigeria Immigration Service at the event, ACG Antonia Opara, buttressed what the Minister said, stressing during elections the Nigeria borders are always shut.