The chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, has assured the corps members participating as ad-hoc staff in next weekend’s Bayelsa governorship election of prompt payment of their allowances.
Yakubu, who gave the assurance while addressing corp members in Yenagoa, also promised to provide adequate security to them, describing them as “the most educated, most reliable, readily available and most patriotic election duty staff” in Nigeria.
He said: “You are going to be deployed in all the nooks and crannies of Bayelsa state at the polling unit level, which is the most important aspect of the electoral process. At the polling unit level, the corps members are for INEC, the most educated, most reliable, readily available and most patriotic election duty staff we have in Nigeria.
“INEC is very happy with the collaboration with the NYSC. I want to thank all of you that volunteered to serve the nation and we are excited about that. We will take your welfare very seriously. The Resident Electoral Commissioner has made adequate transportation arrangements for your deployments.
“We have trained you and we are going to deploy you to what we call the RACs advance night of Saturday November 16. We will ensure that you stay at super RACs that we have made very comfortable. But you have to take it as part of your national assignment because it is going to be like burn fire night where you can charge your smartcard readers using the generators we have provided. Revise the training manual before your deployment to the polling units.
“We have received reports in the past that hoodlums usually raid the homes of some of you staying at Corpers’ lodges and rob you, the REC is already in touch with the Commissioner of Police Bayelsa state to provide security to the Corpers’ lodges to protect them while you were deployed for election duties. We will also ensure that we provide adequate security for you at the polling units,” he promised.
On their welfare, the INEC boss said: “We are aware that allowances have always been a serious issue for corps members on election duty. What we are going to do now is to issue you letters of appointment, which will spell out your duties and responsibilities, specifying your remuneration and what you are entitled to while on duty so that all of you will know the amount, from training to the honorarium, we are going to give you at the end of the exercise.”