By Olaitan Oye-Adeitan
It’s less than three weeks to the general elections in Nigeria with the presidential and national assembly elections coming up on the 25th of February, 2023.
However, as the day approaches, Nigerians are still in the daily struggle to recover their purchasing and have easy access to fuel.
Despite the fact that the supreme court had ordered the Federal government to halt the ban on old naira notes, Nigerians are still queuing for money at the ATMs.
This has generated concerns among the people who are thinking the situation may affect the conduct of the forthcoming presidential and governorship elections on February 25 and March 11.
Reacting to the insinuation, Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, says the forthcoming elections will hold as planned.
Yakubu spoke in Abuja after a meeting with the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I can tell you two of these challenges quickly. The first one is the availability of petroleum products. We had a meeting with the National Union of Road Transport Workers and they raised that as an issue of concern,” he said.
“Immediately after that meeting, we interfaced with the leadership of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) and right now there’s a technical community working.
“The idea is for them to avail us the use of their over 900 land mega stations as well as floating mega stations nationwide for the purpose of stocking products to ensure that the commission doesn’t suffer any encumbrances in the movement of personnel and materials for the elections.
The second one is the currency issue. Again, we had an engagement yesterday with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. And he assured us that the commission will not suffer encumbrances on that score. Fortunately for us, all our accounts, national and state are with the apex bank. So, we raised those challenges and we have found a solution to those challenges”. Yakubu said.
Already, INEC in Oyo State on Saturday conducted a mock verification and accreditation exercise for residents of the state where the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Dr Adeniran Tella, also lent a voice to the fact that nothing would stop the elections from holding.
Dr Tella gave assurance that, with the commitment and synergy of stakeholders in the electoral process, INEC would deliver a credible, free and fair election in the coming polls.
It would be recalled that the collection of the PVC had ended on the 5th of February.