Voice of America

The Nigerian Army has warned against flouting the restriction of movement order put in place for the supplementary elections in Sokoto State.

The General Officer Commanding, Nigerian Army, 8 Division Sokoto, Major General Hakeem Oladapo Otiki, on Friday gave the warning during the interactive session with journalists in Sokoto.

The journalists were led on a familiarisation visit to the new GOC by the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Sokoto State council, Comrade Abubakar Shuni.

The GOC said the security agencies would not hesitate to deal with any persons found violating the ‘no movement order’ on the day of the rerun.

He also assured that the military would only play its expected role of safeguarding the lives and property of the citizens, stressing that no army personnel would involve or intervene directly during the rerun election in the state.

“We have identified somflashpointsts across the state based on our intelligent reports, but we will allow the police and other sister agencies to do their best n tackling any situation that might arise. However, if the need arises, we will come in.

“We are not going to be seen near the polling units but a clear distance from it. We will keep a reasonable distance from the polling booth but keep vigilance of the area to avert any breakdown of law and order,” Otiki explained.

He, however, appealed to the media for a robot synergy between them and the military in order to achieve success. He also urged the media not to create panic among citizens in their reportage.

In a related development, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have commenced intensive surveillance across the state ahead of the rerun election.

Newsmen who sighted some of the officials who were on patrol on Thursday, believed the anti-graft agents might have been drafted to fight vote buying by Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).

The rerun exercise is scheduled in 138 polling scattered across the 22 local government areas of the state, with estimated 75,403 voters expected to participate.

Earlier, there have been counter allegations of vote buying by the two leading political parties in the contest, (APC and PDP) during the last gubernatorial election which was later pronounced inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

During a solidarity visit by PDP national leadership to Sokoto on Tuesday, the state governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, decried the intimidation and harassment of members of his political party, PDP, by officials of the EFCC in the state.

The Zonal Head, EFCC Office, Mr. Ahmed Lateef, could not be reach for his coments on the matter. However, an official of EFCC in the state who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity said the surveillance was part of the routine exercise of the agency.

“Our surveillance has been a routine one and I can assure you that the exercise is never to intimidation any persons,” he explained.

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