Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has solicited the support of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in the deployment of electoral materials and other logistics in the 2023 General Election.
The nation’s electoral body also solicited the support of the Air Force in handling the delivery of outstanding election materials to Ekiti and Osun States.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, who led other INEC national commissioners to the Nigerian Air Force headquarters in Abuja yesterday stressed the need for closer collaboration as the general election was barely 261 days away.
“There is no time to waste. The 2023 General Election is only 261 days from today. However, the Ekiti State governorship election is holding in the next 10 days on Saturday 18th June 2022 while the Osun governorship election holds in 38 days on Saturday 16th July 2022.
“We will seek the support of the Air Force in handling the delivery of outstanding election materials to the two states while the commission bears responsibility for all subsequent deployment within the states to the Local Government Areas and beyond as has been the practice,” he said.
In doing so, he reassured Nigerians that the commission would always work together with all stakeholders, particularly agents of political parties and candidates, observers and the media to inspect and accompany the movement of all materials to various locations in a transparent manner.
The INEC helmsman maintained that it was obvious that INEC alone could not handle the huge national assignment hence the need to mobilise every national asset as empowered by the Electoral Act 2022.
Yakubu stressed that for this month and next month’s governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states, the commission would plead with the Air Force in handling the delivery of outstanding election materials while the electoral umpire takes the subsequent deployment within the states.
Responding, Amao said the NAF would get all aircraft ready to support INEC to achieve the set objectives.
Amao said a committee would be set up to coordinate the collaboration with INEC ahead of the 2023 general election.
He also commended INEC for stabilising the nation’s democracy via improvement in the nation’s electoral process.