The Nigerian Army changed the game in a very professional manner on the eve of the presidential election. This is authoritative. Troops were shuffled and posted to different parts of the country to shore up national security without an inkling to their exact places of assignment. It was top priority.
Unlike the reports that made the rounds in the last 60 days, which indicated a deeply politicised army, HAMILTONSTYLE investigations confirmed that troops were posted independent of their commanders in a move that underscored the professionalism that the Nigerian army is known for.
Officers commanding the different troops were air-lifted at night and dropped off in different states. All the officers were briefed about their destinations and assignments between 6.45pm and 7.15pm – that was shortly before their flights.
Instead of military aircrafts, Aero Contractors, a private airline deployed about half a dozen planes for the dropoffs. The effect was that the Nigerian army was present in all identified black spots (areas prone to armed violence) and the soldiers were able to discharge their constitutional duties of peace-keeping without flaunting court rules about steering clear of polling units.
In some black spots, armoured tanks and a truck load of soldiers were stationed to deter would-be vandals and political thugs. In a way, Nigerians must thank the army for the relatively peaceful March 28 and 29 elections.