Nigeria deploys troops amid expected poll delay

The general elections earlier scheduled for Feb. 14 may be delayed for weeks

Nigeria deploys troops amid expected poll delay
World Bulletin / News Desk
Heavily armed soldiers have been deployed in many Nigerian state capitals including Lagos, as tension mounts over pointers that the general elections earlier scheduled for Feb. 14 may be delayed for weeks.

Truckloads of security officials, mostly the army, have been sighted in key areas of Lagos, a development many Nigerians think could be a measure to forestall protests in the event that the election is postponed.

The same deployment has been reported in Kano, Kaduna and many parts of the northern region, according to eyewitnesses.

"Except anything changes, it has been agreed that the election should be postponed by at least four or six weeks," a highly-placed source within the Independent National Electoral Commission told The Anadolu Agency on Saturday.

"Election may now hold in late March," said the source. "Many things are yet to be in place and unless the date is shifted, the election could be a mess."

A meeting of the commission's top hierarchy is currently taking place in capital Abuja.

Chairman Attahiru Jega is slated to address a news briefing at 5pm local time to announce whether or not the polls will go as scheduled.

Nigerians will go to the polls on Feb. 14 to elect a president and members of the federal parliament.

Although 14 candidates will vie for the presidency, the poll is largely seen as a race between incumbent President Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler.

Buhari is running on the ticket of the opposition APC, an amalgam of political interests that have come together in an attempt to wrest power from Jonathan's People's Democratic Party, which has ruled the country since its return to democracy in 1999.

A military source, meanwhile, told AA that the army has made "it absolutely clear to the Commission that security cannot be guaranteed for the poll unless a little more time is given."

Nigerian authorities on Thursday warned of plots to use female suicide bombers to attack polling centers during the Feb. 14 general elections.

"Recent intelligence reports indicate that some unscrupulous Nigerians have perfected plans to surreptitiously collect, buy or steal the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) of female voters, handover same to female suicide bombers and create access for them into polling centers where they will detonate bombs and kill unsuspecting voters," 
Mike Omeri, the coordinator of counterterrorism center, told a weekly news briefing in Abuja.

"By this information, therefore, Nigerians, especially female voters, are warned to remain vigilant and also jealously guard and preserve their PVCs to avoid the possibility of their being lost to these bad elements who will put them to untoward uses," he said.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Şubat 2015, 15:07