The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has ordered hotels in Makurdi, the Benue State capital shut for security reasons.
Hotels particularly affected are those sharing the same vicinity with the commission’s state head office in Makurdi.
Confirming the closure of the hotels, INEC’s state Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ochai Louis, explained that it was aimed at forestalling any breakdown of law and order.
He noted that criminal elements hiding under the cover of hotel guests, could launch attacks on the commission’s office from there.
Louis said, “We called the owners of the hotels to a meeting this morning. They were adequately briefed on the security implications.
“So, all the hotels will be evacuated, except for INEC members of staff”.
Meanwhile, security was tightened around the commission’s office on Friday as soldiers arrived to oversee security.
One armoured tank was stationed right inside the premises of the head office with soldiers taking vantage positions around the vehicle.
Prior to the arrival of soldiers, security at the state INEC office was provided by a combined team of riot policemen and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.