The Federal Government said it deployed soldiers across the country to ensure peace, order and stability throughout the elections.
The Coordinator, National Information Centre, Mike Omeri, said this at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja where he promised adequate security during the election period. He called on Nigerians to abide by the restriction of vehicular movement as ordered by the police.
However, Omeri called on voters to be vigilant around the polling centres while exercising their rights to vote.
“In this country, soldiers have never participated in an election; they do not carry ballot boxes, have you ever seen that.
“They maintain safe distance for the safety of the citizens and society. They only assist to re-enforce whatever arrangements put in place from a distance.
“The security officers who are designated by law to support the process have always been known to be the police,” the coordinator said stressing that the federal government had not violated court order by deploying the soldiers.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, also defended the move saying the president was still within his constitutional powers.
“Under the constitution which is our supreme law, Section 218 gives the president the powers to deploy the military and there is no court in this country that has ousted that aspect of the constitution. Make no mistake about that.
“The law gives powers to the president to determine the operational use of the armed forces,” Ojukwu said.
He assured that the soldiers would maintain a distance of 300 metres away from the polling centres, but might be called in to assist in case of violence or disturbance.