Fuel scarcity threatens election logistics — INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) warned yesterday that the continued scarcity of fuel across the country could jeopardize election day logistics.

While the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC, Limited assured the electoral commission that there would be an adequate supply of fuel during the election, the three major presidential candidates expressed optimism that the shortage would be resolved before the polls.

Speaking at a consultative meeting with officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the meeting was to put finishing touches to the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed between the commission and the union on December 20, 2022.

He noted that the issue of logistics had been a perennial problem in election administration in Nigeria.

His words: “The commission shares your concern about the fuel situation in the country and its impact on transportation on election day. The truth is that our arrangements may be negatively affected by the non-availability of products.

“For this reason, the commission will this afternoon (yesterday) meet with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, to look into ways to ameliorate the situation.

“I wish to assure Nigerians that we will continue to engage every national institution for the success of the 2023 general election.

“That is why for three electoral cycles now, INEC has collaborated with the road transport unions to address the problem. For the 2023 General Elections, the Commission has included the Marine Workers’ Union of Nigeria, MWUN, for efficient maritime transportation.

“The time has come to stop all excuses and provide effective logistics to ensure hitch-free logistics on Election Day. Nigerians should not wait for the arrival of personnel and materials at the polling units. Rather, we should be there waiting for the arrival of voters. We believe that this is achievable. Recent elections have shown that by working in partnership with the unions and other stakeholders, we can achieve the objective. This is a patriotic duty and we should make the necessary sacrifice in the national interest.

“The commission is aware that this is an enormous task. An election is the largest deployment a nation periodically undertakes and mobilisation of vehicles for election is a large and complex exercise. However, this comes only once in four years.

‘’What is critical here is planning. We have presented to the union the number and specifications of the vehicles required for the election. We have also indicated to you the locations where the vehicles are needed.

“Happily, your members are spread across the country. Therefore, vehicles conveying personnel and materials will not travel long distances. All movements should be within a state and preferably within local government areas.’’


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