Osun Election: Electoral officials, others stuck as soldiers shut down Ilesa-Ife-Ibadan expressway

Nigerian soldiers on guard in Maiduguri

Dozens of army officers, Friday, barricaded the Ilesa-Ibadan expressway with used tyres at the junction that leads into Ife, Osun State, following an intelligence report about an arms movement into Osun State.

The motorists along the expressway hoping to beat the 6 p.m. deadline for the restriction of movement ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in Osun State were shocked, on Friday afternoon, as they met a blocked road.

“It’s not our fault, we are working under instruction. We got information that some people want to move arms into the state for the election,” said one of the army officers. “The blockade will be lifted on Saturday evening.”

While vehicles were barred from crossing the barricade, commuters on foot were allowed passage.

Kenneth Usidamen, whose car was stuck in the gridlock, said that he was on his way to Abeokuta.

“I have no business with the Osun election, why will they close the road like this? I really don’t know what to do. If they don’t allow us to go, it means we will sleep here.” said Mr. Usidamen.

Scores of members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, in chartered buses on their way for election assignment were also caught up in the traffic.
Some of the NYSC members are to serve as electoral officers in Saturday’s election.

“We are supposed to work in the election but right now I don’t know what we are going to do,” said an NYSC member who did not want to be named because they were not authorised to talk to journalists.

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