Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has solicited the support of the Nigerian Airforce in the movement of election materials and the protection of election officials ahead of 2023 general elections.
Chairman of the commission, Mahmood Yakubu made the plea in Abuja, when he paid a courtesy visit on the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao to seek the service logistics support for forthcoming elections.
Yakubu said the collaboration will also be extended to other Armed Forces Services in it’s determination to efficiently deliver materials and more efficiently serve Nigerians on Election Day.
“Election constitutes the most extensive mobilisation and complex logistics operations that could happen in a country in peacetime. On 25th February and 11thMarch 2023, the Commission will deploy personnel and materials to about 190,000 voting and collation locations nationwide for 1,491 executive and legislative offices across Nigeria.
“These activities must take place simultaneously, stretching over 923,768km2 within a space of six voting hours (8.30am – 2.30pm) involving a projected population of 90 million voters.
“It is obvious that in handling such a huge national assignment, the Commission cannot do it alone. Every national asset must be mobilised.
“It is in realisation of this objective that the law empowers the Commission to seek the support of the security agencies in general and the Armed Forces in particular in delivering materials for election and the protection of election officials” the INEC chairman said.
The Chief Electoral Umpire also used the opportunity to seek the Air Force support in handling the delivery of outstanding election materials for the Ekiti and Osun States elections scheduled to hold on 18th June, 2022 and 16th July, 2022.
Mahmood consequently restated the commission’s commitment to collaborating with all stakeholders, especially agents of political parties and candidates, observers and the media to inspect and accompany the movement of all materials to various location.
Responding, the Chief of the Air Staff who commended INEC under the leadership of Professor Mahmood Yakubu for the steady improvement in the electoral process, assured that the Airforce in its Social Responsibility commitment to INEC, is preparing its transport aircrafts to assist the Commission with its set objective.
Air Marshal Amao promised that the Airforce will convey electoral materials to designated areas, adding that a bilateral Committee will be set up immediately to look into the request of the commission for prompt action.