NAF begins airlift of INEC’s electoral materials.
· Groups to counter IPOB’s order to boycott elections
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has commenced the airlifting of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s sensitive and non-sensitive materials for the conduct of the 2019 general elections.
The airlift exercise involves day and night missions, during which the electoral materials would be conveyed in batches, with NAF C-130 Hercules aircraft from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja to other parts of the country.
It was learned yesterday that the materials were delivered through the C-130H aircraft crew to INEC teams, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) officials and security personnel waiting at the various airports.
Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, during his meeting with Air Officers Commanding (AOCs) and NAF Field Commanders on February 1, 2019, had expressed NAF’s readiness to avail INEC its aircraft to convey the electoral materials, as it did in the past.
However, INEC, Ohanaeze Youths Wing (OYC) and the Global Society for Anti-Corruption (GSAC) have intensified efforts to ensure that the Igbo vote during the general elections beginning with Saturday’s presidential polls.
It was also learned that the attempt was also to counter Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB)’s campaign in the zone asking the Igbo to boycott the elections to set the pace for Biafra referendum slated for February 16.
The GSAC on its part began a procession to create awareness and sensitize the people on the need to vote during the exercise.
Southeast Regional Director of the group, Mrs. Amaka Nweke, told newsmen in Enugu that the campaign in the zone would be sustained until the elections are over.
Also, INEC in Enugu State has trained and deployed 17 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) officials in the 17 local government areas for door-to-door voter education and sensitization on the electoral process.
A statement issued by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Emeka Ononamadu, noted that the effort was aimed at creating a direct and civic interface between voters and INEC for effective understanding of the electoral and voting process.
Meanwhile, the OYW also stated that it had begun a campaign to dissuade Igbo youths from heeding IPOB’s sit-at-home order on election’s day.