The Nigerian Army has deployed troops to flash points in Rivers ahead of Saturday’s rerun of legislative elections in the state.
Maj.- Gen. Kasimu Abdulkarim, the General Officer Commanding, 6 Division, Port Harcourt, gave the order while addressing officers and soldiers at the Divisional Headquarters in Port Harcourt.
Abdulkarim said the directive was to ensure the prevention of breakdown of law and order before, during and after the elections in Rivers.
The troops would also be deployed to strategic locations. That will include oil and gas installations and other critical assets in and around the state.
According to him, commanders will embark on early planning, coordination and liaison with civil authority, Nigeria Police Force, INEC and other stakeholders to ensure a hitch-free election.
“During the election, commanders are to ensure that troops are deployed at flash points, key points and valuable points before, during and after the elections.
“Troops will be in their respective position by 3 am on the election day, while monitoring of security situation from the joint operations centre will commence two days before election.
“Commanders are to ensure that troops are deployed at the outer perimeter of designated collation centres and polling booths in support of the Nigeria Police without getting directly involved with INEC activities.
“Also, commanders must ensure that troops deny unauthorised persons access to collation centres, INEC offices and NYSC officials during the election,’’ he said.
Abdulkarim also directed “local commanders’’ of the army to escort the election materials to INEC office in Port Harcourt.
He said the troops would identify and curtail hostile individuals, groups and key players; gather information and carry out a show of force within strategic towns in Rivers and adjoining states.