Less than a week to the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State, the military says it will deploy between 200 and 300 soldiers to the coastal areas to ensure a peaceful election in the riverine communities.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had identified the riverine areas as black spots, saying it had enlisted the help of the Navy and Military Police to flush out threats to the peaceful conduct of the exercise, especially in the creeks and other black spots in the state.
Officers and men of the Nigerian Navy and the Army had, on Thursday evening, carried out an exercise tagged ‘Show of Force’ on waterways in the Ilaje and Ese Odo local government areas of the state.
The Commander of 32 Artillery Brigade of the Nigeria Army, Akure, Brig-Gen Zakari Abubakar, said the aim of the exercise was to signal a warning to hoodlums on the waterways that the security agencies were combat-ready to ensure that the election was violence-free.
Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of the brigade, Captain Ayo Omojokun, on Friday, said, “We are deploying between 200 and 300 men to the coastal areas for the election.”
The Information Officer of the Nigeria Navy Forward Operating Base, Igbokoda, Lieutenant Attah Sule, also said, “60 men will be deployed for the election with six gunboats and five speedboats.”