INEC Worried Over Endless Petrol Crisis Says It Will Affect 2023 Polls Logistics
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the protracted petrol scarcity is posing a serious threat to the movement of its logistics, preparatory to the 2023 February 25 polls.
INEC chairman, Professor Mahmud Yakubu said they would meet with the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited on the issue.
Yakubu, speaking while receiving the leadership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) at INEC headquarters in Lagos, said there should be no more excuses on the provision of effective movement of polling materials nationwide.
Yakubu said, “For the 2023 general election, the commission has included the Marine Workers Union of Nigeria for efficient maritime transportation. The time has come to stop all excuses and provide effective logistics to ensure hitch-free arrangement for the 2023 general election.
“Nigeria 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 working in partnership with the unions and other stakeholders, we can achieve these objectives. And this is our patriotic duty and we should all make the necessary sacrifices in the national interest.”
Yakubu noted that the commission was aware that the task was enormous, stressing that election is the largest deployment a nation periodically undertakes and mobilization of vehicles for election is a large and complex exercise.
He added: “However, this comes only once in four years. What is critical here is forward 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. In fact, all movements should be within a state and preferably within local government areas. There should be no interstate movement.”
The chairman informed the unions that the MoU covered both forward and reverse logistics, adding that there was an obligation to return the personnel and materials to designated locations after the election.
According to him, “When you take election duty staff particularly those deployed to the polling units, please don’t abandon these ad hoc staff, particularly the youth corpers. We have a responsibility to take them to locations in safety and to bring them back in safety to where you took them.”
The meeting with NURTW leadership was to finalize the memorandum of understanding signed with the union last December for the haulage of materials before the 2023 polls.
The INEC chairman said that all NURTW members who would be involved in the logistics arrangements would undertake an oath of neutrality in their assignment.
The NURTW national president, Tajudeen Baruwa, assured that its members would perform their assignment up to expectation.