Petrol scarcity may affect elections logistics, says INEC

Our reporter| The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday said its logistics for the forthcoming elections may be affected by the scarcity of petrol.

INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, who made the disclosure on Tuesday at a consultative meeting with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), said the issue of logistics has been a perennial problem in election administration in Nigeria.

He said for this reason, the commission is collaborating with the NURTW and the Marine Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) to ensure hitch-free arrangements on election day.

“The commission is aware that this is an enormous task. 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 forward planning,” Yakubu said.

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“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. In fact, all movements should be within a state and preferably within local government areas. There should be no inter-state movement.

“We are working with the security agencies to ensure the safety of your members and their vehicles during the election. Just like our election duty personnel, their safety is paramount. That is why in the most recent elections conducted by the commission, the leadership of your union at state level attended several meetings with our officials and the security agencies.”

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The INEC chairman said the commission shares the transport union’s concern about the fuel situation and its impact on transportation on election day.

“The truth is that our arrangements may be negatively affected by the non-availability of products,” he said.

“For this reason, the Commission will this afternoon 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.”

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