Nigeria closes land and sea borders ahead of Saturday’s polls

March 27, 2015 OPINION/NEWS

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By

Charles Ayitey

All means of immigration or emigration in and out of Nigeria have now been suspended ahead of the presidential elections slated for Saturday 28th March.

The closure of land and sea borders was documented in a statement presented by the spokesman at the Interior Ministry indicating that “President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the closure of all Nigeria’s land and sea borders… to allow for peaceful conduct of the elections.”

This election, between incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan and his fierce contender, main opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari, is feared to generate violence following the killing of more than 1000 people in the last elections of 2011.

 

The largest West African economy is grappling with IS-affiliated Islamist group Boko Haram, now threatening serious instability having abducted over a thousand girls in the last year.

 

International Crisis Group analyst warns: “Victory by either candidate will certainly throw up new security challenges.”

 

Meanwhile Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama, who is also Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has pledged Ghana and ECOWAS’ support as it heads for the poll.

“All of us are stakeholders in this election, (it’s) just that we don’t have the votes, so we will sit in the gallery and ensure that they do what is right”, he added.

 

The closure came into force at midnight last night and will remain effective until midnight on Saturday 28 March, by which time polling will have closed.

 

 

 

 

 

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Charles Ayitey 

Charles Ayitey is from Accra, Ghana and works as a Broadcast Journalist for Business Television Africa.

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