The Nigerian Army has said that its personnel will be on standby to forestall possible violence in the Port Harcourt III state constituency by-election slated for August 18.
The spokesman of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, made this known in an interview with newsmen yesterday.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will conduct the by-election to fill the House of Assembly vacated by Victor Ihunwo to become a local government council chairman.
According to Iliyasu, soldiers will be stationed at strategic points and will not be involved in the election process unless called upon.
“We are not directly involved in the election and no soldier is going to be deployed in any election duty. “It is only the police and Department of State Services (DSS) that has the constitutional responsibility to provide security in the election.
“However, we are always on alert whenever there is election. We will only be on standby in case our service is needed.”
Iliyasu said that soldiers had been banned from going into polling centres and escorting polling materials to the centres.