The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, has called upon the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to settle its outstanding bills, enabling the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to assist in airlifting materials for the forthcoming by-elections scheduled for Saturday.
During a visit by the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in Abuja to seek support from NAF ahead of the February 3 rerun and by-elections, Abubakar emphasized the importance of settling financial obligations to facilitate logistical operations.
INEC is tasked with conducting by-elections and re-runs in 26 states across Nigeria, aiming to fill vacancies in various political offices left by deceased or resigned members of the national and state Assemblies.
Yakubu highlighted the magnitude of the task in deploying election materials, particularly in remote locations, underscoring the necessity of NAF’s support to transport materials to key areas in the North-East, South-East, and South-West regions.
Acknowledging the commission’s reliance on national assets for effective operations, Yakubu outlined the specific locations and tonnage of materials requiring airlift, emphasizing the need for transparency and stakeholder participation throughout the process.
Air Marshal Abubakar reiterated NAF’s commitment to supporting INEC in maintaining security and facilitating the swift distribution of electoral materials nationwide. He emphasized the critical role of robust security and efficient logistics management in ensuring the integrity of elections.
Despite the temporary unavailability of some aircraft undergoing maintenance, Abubakar assured Yakubu of NAF’s readiness to employ alternative aircraft for material transportation, contingent upon early scheduling due to capacity constraints.
However, Abubakar pointed out the necessity of settling outstanding bills owed by INEC to enhance operational efficiency and service delivery.
As Nigeria prepares for the upcoming elections, the collaboration between INEC and NAF underscores the imperative of seamless logistics and security measures to uphold the integrity and credibility of the electoral process.