Where Are the Ballot Boxes

Men of the Nigerian Army deployed on security duties in today’s presidential/national assembly elections seem determined to carry out to the letter, the order of the Commander-In-Chief, President Mohammad Buhari to deal ruthlessly with ballot box snatchers. 
In Edo State, all the highways are manned by gun-trotting and stick-wielding soldiers who have mounted roadblocks at almost every pole.
At one of such check-points at Adamawa on Benin – Auchi Road, Benin City,  the bus conveying this reporter and a few other journalists was stopped and after introduction as Press Men on election duties, one of the soldiers peeped into the Sienna bus and asked jokingly “where are the ballot boxes?” The message was not lost on the journalists who chorused “there are no ballot boxes o! We are journalists on election monitoring. The soldier laughed and signaled us to go.
At the first checkpoint in Ekpoma around a few minutes to 8. O’clock, several persons who violated the no-movement order were prevented from proceeding to their destinations in spite of passionate pleas that they had just closed from work. One of them, a lady who claimed she just closed from Irrua Teaching Hospital and was heading home to freshen up to go and vote, was visibly frustrated as all her pleas were rebuffed by the soldiers who insisted that “you people are not leaving this place.” Flagging her voter card at this reporter, she complained: “Am I not going to vote? I want to go and vote.”
All through the two-hour journey to Auchi, the home-town of the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, there was no sign of men of the Nigeria Police, but only soldiers.

A frustratef staff of Irrua Teaching Hospital displaying her voter card
A frustratef staff of Irrua Teaching Hospital displaying her voter card
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