By: Janet Samuel, Abuja
In its preparedness to ensure a hitch free bye-elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has requested the service of Nigeria Air Force to expeditiously deliver materials to the three geo-political zones for the re-run election on Saturday
The INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, made the request during a curtesy visit to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar on Monday, in Abuja.
Prof. Yakubu noted that in the realisation of the provision of Section 27(3) of the Electoral Act 2022 the law empowers the Commission to seek the support of the security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies in the delivery of materials and the protection of election officials
According to him, “elections are holding this weekend, Working with the Central Bank of Nigeria, materials are being delivered to many locations. However, given the size and distance of some constituencies, we seek for the support of NAF to expeditiously deliver materials to three locations in the North East, South East and the South West geo-political zones of the country. We have already indicated to the Chief of the Air Staff the specific locations and the tonnage of materials to be airlifted.”
“The evacuation of the materials from the focal airports to the States where election will hold will be handled by the Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria as has been the standard practice. Thereafter, the inspection and movement of all materials to the various Local Government Areas and beyond will be done with the full participation of all stakeholders, particularly agents of political parties and candidates, observers and the media in a transparent manner”
The INEC Chairman commended the Air force for all the support during the general elections and the timely delivery of materials without any compromise.
Responding, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar commended the invaluable contributions of the INEC, that distinguishes democracy as a form of governance as exihibited in its commitment to the people.
He also applauded the Chairman for the numerous initiatives that occurred in his tenure which include continuous voter registration, introduction of new technologies, voter education and sensitization and post-election and the Electoral Act of 2022, which introduced reforms aimed at more timely organization of pre-electoral processes and increasing transparency in results among others
Air Marshal Abubakar who noted that that the visit was a sign of commitment to strengthen the bonds between both organisations, assured of the Force’s willingness and continuous support as always.
While mentioning that though some NAF aircraft were undergoing maintenance, he promised alternative aircraft to transport materials, stressing the importance of early delivery due to the aircraft’s capacity.