As voters accreditation continues and Nigerians prepare to start casting their votes in less than two hours, the United States government has deployed hundreds of US Marines to be stationed in Ghana in anticipation of post-election violence in Nigeria.
Nigerians will today choose their president and members of the federal legislature.
Nigerian Watch reports that there are fears that there may be post-election violence after the results are announced as neither the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) is likely to accept defeat in good faith.
In preparation for any eventuality, the US has posted a battalion of marines in neighbouring Ghana, who will likely be used to evacuate its citizens if violence breaks out.
The US secretary of state, John Kerry, visited Nigeria earlier this year to advocate for peaceful polls, while President Barack Obama last week published a YouTube video calling for calm.
It is believed that with Nigeria being Africa’s largest country and economy, any violence might end up spreading across the continent, with devastating effects.
A source in Accra, Ghana, said that two Hercules C-130 planes landed at Kotoka Airport last week and they carried at least three helicopters.
“There are well over 200 marines and they are camped at the airport. The helicopters are believed to be meant for the quick evacuation of Americans in Nigeria in the event of violence,” the source said.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has promised to announce the results within 48 hours of the end of the election.
It cannot be predicted who will emerge the winner in today’s poll because the race for the number one seat is very close between President Jonathan and General Buhari.