Nigerian Army has said the multiple sounds of controlled gunfire on Saturday morning heard in the outskirts of Maiduguri, Borno State was for “security calculations”.
The Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Sagir Musa, said in a statement that the gunfire was not targeted at the public.
Musa denied reports that Boko Haram attacked Maiduguri or neighbouring communities.
“As of now Borno, especially Maiduguri township, is calm and peaceful. People have already started voting in many locations across the state,” he said.
He urged the people to turn out en masse to vote for the candidates of their choice.
Musa also said there was a futile attack on a security outpost in Geidam general area in Yobe.
He said that no casualty was recorded.
The situation is calm and peaceful. People have largely turned out to cast their vote without any hindrance.”
Meanwhile, thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) defied the early morning explosion scare in Maiduguri and came out en mass to cast their votes in the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
There was a large turnout of voters at the Teachers Village’s IDPs in Maiduguri.
The voters joined queues at various polling units in the camp as early as 8 a.m., while voting commenced at about 9:30a.m.
The IDPs’ voters were from Kukawa, Kruss Kawwa, Baga, and Doron Baga communities of Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno.
Some of the voters, who spoke with journalists in separate interviews, said that they came out with satisfaction and joy to vote for candidates of their choice.
Usman Kachalla, a displaced person from Baga, said he came out to join the queue at 7 a.m.
Kachallah said that the electoral officers and materials arrived on time for the elections.
Yagana Bala, another voter, said that the explosion caused panic among the displaced people, stressing that the incident was not enough to dampen their enthusiasm to vote.
Dan-Baga, also an IDP, appealed to the government to strengthen security at the camp to prevent unsuspected attack by Boko Haram insurgents.
“We need maximum security in the camp to enable us cast our votes peacefully,” he said.
Series of explosions were heard in the Borno capital of Maiduguri on Saturday, just hours before the opening of polls in presidential and National Assembly.
Explosions occurred at Teachers Village Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp, Bolori and Pompomari areas of Maiduguri, with no casualties recorded.
The police and army have assured residents of their safety and asked them to ignore the explosions.
There was no immediate indication of the cause but the city has been repeatedly attacked by Boko Haram Islamists.