Ahead of the 2019 general elections, local Nigerian airlines, Aero Contractors and Arik Air have introduced travel promo deals for Nigerians who have to travel to other states to vote. A move that will not only lower costs but also enable citizens to carry out their civic responsibility following the postponement of the general elections.
Effective from February 18th, Aero Contractors would begin the sale of tickets from N16,000 (which is about 50 percent off) for travels between February 21 and February 25 on all routes. Likewise, Arik Air would begin its N16,000 “Fly to vote promotion” sales from February 18 till March 11 for travels between February 21 and February 26, as well as March 7 till March 12. Customers will be required to present a valid Permanent Voters Card (PVC) before purchasing their tickets and at various check-in point.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) also announced a price slash, as its own way of encouraging voter participation. IPMAN has instructed its members managing filling stations across the country to sell petrol for N140 per litre against the official pump price of N145 per litre, from 20th February to 25th February 2019.
“IPMAN was prompted to slash N5 from the N145 per litre official petrol pump price in a bid to motivate Nigerians to return to vote again on February 23. We urge all our members across Nigeria to immediately reduce the fuel pump price from N145 per litre to N140 per litre,” said IPMAN’s National President, Chinedu Okoronkwo in a statement.
Nigeria’s electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the early hours of Saturday postponed the general election originally scheduled to hold 16th February 2019. The new date for General elections has been set for the 23rd February 2019. The governor and state assembly elections were also moved to March 9, 2019, from its original date of March 2, 2019.
As expected, the announcement sparked mixed reactions from Nigerians, especially on social media. Nigerians who travelled out of town to vote were particularly upset considering how much they had spent on transportation. Following the postponement, there have been growing concerns that voters may no longer be motivated to participate this Saturday for the fear of being disappointed again.