The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will be mobilising at least 100,000 vehicles for the deployment of personnel and materials to 176,846 polling units spread across 8,809 electoral Wards in 774 local government areas nationwide for the coming general elections. But the body is also adversely affected by fuel scarcity like ordinary Nigerians.
Citizens continue to jostle for fuel that is not adequately circulated and businesses are becoming paralysed.
Apparently, the yearnings are not reaching the Nigerian government.
But now that INEC has raised the alarm that the development could stymie election-day logistics, maybe then the government could find a lasting solution to the debacle.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited did assure the electoral commission of an adequate supply of fuel during the election.
It remains to be seen if Nigerians, the primary pillar of the voting exercise, will enjoy similar glad tidings.
Without a doubt, both NNPC and the federal government prioritise the coming election.
That's why they have vouched to provide fuel to INEC during their duty while turning deaf ears to the agony of the people confronting the structural maladministration for the past few days in the country.
So, the question now is why can't NNPC channel the same energy to ensure that there is adequate fuel supply across the nation?
On December 20, 2022, while speaking at a consultative meeting with officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, explained that the commission empathised with Nigerians regarding the fuel situation in the country and its impact on transportation.
As fuel inadequacy gives INEC a huge headache, it negatively affects the daily lives of Nigerians even worse.
The Nigerian government can use the vacuum and concerns of INEC to measure what Nigerians who use fuel daily have to deal with continuously.
INEC's present predicament is synonymous with the country's current realities.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari, assured INEC that it would provide fuel to the commission at this critical time.
Nigerians are increasingly worried that government establishments are supposed to be the worst hit if the country is truly in a fuel crisis.
They need to lead by example.
INEC will abundantly have access to prosecute the election while some voters won't come to vote because there's no fuel in their cars or transport fares have multiplied due to fuel pump price fluctuation.
NNPC says it will make fuel available to all vehicles involved in the electoral process.
Why not prioritise Nigerians and make fuel available to all and sundry?
NNPC needed not to be remembered its necessity to provide support to INEC whenever elections take place.
But Nigerians need to sleep at filling stations, quarrel when queueing for fuel or stage national protests before they can do the masses' bidding.
Could it ever get more distasteful? The NNPC and relevant stakeholders in the sector are not the primary deciders of fuel prices in the land.
It is impossible to complain to a "callous" seller after scouring numerous stations and seeing their attendants relaxing and waving the "no fuel signal".
This piece says everything except that the 2023 general election in Nigeria is insignificant.
But if concerned stakeholders can give similar energy, priority and interest to the citizens' pains, the country will certainly not be in this mess.
Additionally, suppose NNPC tries to cater for INEC's needs and provide fuel for them to execute its national duty without considering Nigerians in their plans, many Nigerians may not come out to vote, jettisoning the existence and effectiveness of INEC.
If NNPC is making fuel available at all, it should be nationally and not only to INEC.
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