- The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has commenced the airlift of election materials for supplementary elections
- The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, disclosed this, saying election materials have been able to conveyed to Jalingo, Yola and Bauchi
- The supplementary elections are holding on Saturday, March 23
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, on Wednesday, March 20, said the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has commenced the airlift of election materials for supplementary elections holding on Saturday, March 23.
Abubakar made this known during the quarterly CAS conference with Branch Chiefs and Air Officers Commanding (AOC) at the NAF headquarters in Abuja.
He noted the role of the Air Force in helping the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in solving its logistics challenges while commending the professionalism displayed by NAF personnel during the recently concluded general elections.
The Air Force chief stated that the NAF, despite being brought in virtually at the last minute, was able to assist INEC to airlift about 630,000 kg of electoral materials to 31 different locations in the country using 8 different aircraft.
The CAS highlighted that over 120 NAF personnel were involved to ensure the success of the massive logistics operation, which ensured the smooth conduct of both rounds of elections that had been concluded.
“We were able to conclude this despite the fact we were really brought in late but ensured that the presidential, national assembly elections, as well as the state governorship elections and states’ houses of assembly elections, were conducted,” he said.
He added that the NAF, working with INEC, had already commenced airlift of materials for the forthcoming supplementary elections.
“For the supplementary elections, our aircraft were able to convey some materials yesterday to Jalingo, Yola and Bauchi,” he said.
“Similarly we are rounding up the distribution of supplementary election materials to other areas the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) wants us to go.”
Abubakar added: “I want to congratulate the aircraft engineering branch and the general operation branch as well as all commanders for cooperating and supporting to ensure that materials are where they are so that Nigerians can exercise their right in selecting their leaders.”
He also expressed excitement over the number of aircraft that had been acquired in the last 3 and half years, while announcing that the NAF would soon take delivery of the Agusta 109 Power Helicopter Gunship from Italy.
“We are expecting the Augusta 109 power helicopter very soon from Italy and the President and Commander-in-Chief will be invited to the launching ceremony that will signify the renewed efforts of the government to ensure that there is security in the North West geopolitical zones.
“Particularly Zamfara, Sokoto and parts of Kaduna states where we have new detachments, that has now been approved by the Air council.
“We are currently reactivating five aircraft, 3 L39 life extension programmes taking place in Kano and we have MI 35P and EC 135 helicopter in Port Harcourt.
“Similarly, three Alpha jets in Kainji are being overhauled which I believe by September, we should have these Alpha jets flying. I believe these efforts will substantially improve our capacity to make Nigeria secured,” he said.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the scheduled March 23 supplementary governorship election in Adamawa may not hold as INEC awaits the court’s decision which is expected on Thursday, March 21.
In a chat with newsmen, the state’s resident electoral commissioner, Barrister Kassim Gaidam, stated that the ruling expected on Thursday would determine whether the election would hold or not; even though all preparations for the exercise had been concluded.
Citing relevant sections of the Electoral Act, Gaidam had previously indicated that the court lacked the powers to stop the commission from conduction elections.
However, in what looked like a shift from his earlier position, the REC stated: “As a law abiding institution, we will respect the ruling of the court on the supplementary election.”
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