Nigerian authorities on Friday ordered the closure of the country’s land borders, a day ahead of presidential and general elections.
Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service Isah Jere issued the directive to halt crossings with the West African nation’s neighbors Niger, Chad, Cameroon, and Benin, according to a press release.
Aiming to ensure that the elections are “free, fair and devoid of anomalies,” the 24-hour closure will begin at midnight on Saturday and continue until Sunday, Jere said, adding that the military would be deployed at crossing points to defend the country from threats during the elections.
Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Lucky Irabor assured that the military would deal decisively with forces seeking to interfere with the elections.
The country’s army has also urged people to report suspicious behavior or acts of violence by “unscrupulous persons or group of persons capable of disrupting the peaceful conduct of the 2023 general election.”
Contenders for Nigeria’s presidential and national parliamentary seats concluded their campaign rallies on Tuesday.
Around 94 million voters are expected to make their choice among the 18 presidential candidates vying for the country’s presidency, according to Nigeria’s elections body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
A total of 910,973 police personnel have been deployed across the country, authorities have said, with law enforcement officers to escort election materials and provide security at polling booths.