Nigeria to close borders ahead of regional polls

Regional elections are set to take place in Nigeria this weekend just weeks after the national polls were conducted.

To allow for a peaceful election, Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the closure of all land borders ahead of the elections.

It’s a similar move that was put into place last month for the national elections.

Abubakar Magaji, permanent secretary at Nigeria’s Interior Ministry, made the announcement Wednesday, saying closing of land borders is designed “to allow for peaceful conduct” of weekend voting.

On the west, Nigeria is bordered by Benin, Cameroon on the east and shares borders with Niger and Chad in the north.

The closures will begin midnight (2300 GMT) on Wednesday until 12:00 p.m. on Sunday after the completion of the state and governship assembly elections.

The general elections held in March were considered peaceful when current president Jonathan lost to his rival, Muhammadu Buhari in the country’s first ever democratic transfer of power.

Even with closed borders, security fears remain high ahead of voting day due to isolated violence between Boko Haram in the northeast and rival camps in the southern Rivers state.

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