The heavy presence of soldiers, police and other security personnel in Benin, Edo State, on Thursday created traffic congestion on major roads in the state capital.
Apart from police officers and soldiers, Air Force personnel and men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps were seen in trucks and Hilux vans.
Some of the areas affected by the traffic jam are Ikpoba Hill, Adesuwa Road, Sapele, Airport, Akpakpava and Ring road, Punch reports.
A commercial driver said, “Soldiers, policemen and their vehicles are everywhere. Look at how they have caused ‘go-slow’ everywhere. It is as if we are at war. This situation will only make the people not come out to vote.”
Also, some journalists, who were on their way to the Edo office of the Independent National Electoral Commission located on Adesuwa Road, were stranded for over two hours in one of the gridlocks.
Meanwhile, security agencies on Thursday carried out its last joint exercise before the election tagged Operation Show of Force, aimed at alerting Edo residents of the security agencies readiness for the governorship election.
No fewer than 70 patrol vehicles loaded with fully armed men from the various security agencies paraded on strategic streets and roads across Benin City.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, said the exercise was the inter-agencies’ commitment to ensuring that the election was peaceful, fair, free and credible.
The security personnel moved from the state police command headquarters through Sapele Road, Country Home Road and Ugbo road, among others.
Meanwhile, the state government has declared Friday, September 18, 2020, as a work-free day to enable workers in the state to travel to their respective constituencies to exercise their franchise.
In a statement on Thursday, Edo State Head of Service, through the Permanent Secretary, Mrs P. E Aziegbemhin, added, “Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Extra-Ministerial Departments are requested to bring the contents of this circular to the attention of their staff.”