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Bayelsa poll: Don’t shortchange ad hoc staff, INEC warns electoral officers

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has advised its Electoral Officers in Bayelsa to be transparent in the payment of entitlements to ad hoc staff to be used for the Nov. 16 governorship election.

INEC National Commissioner, Prof. Okechukwu Ibeanu, gave the advice during an interactive session between members of staff, INEC Bayelsa and the commission’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu in Yenegoa.

He said that the commission had put in place modality to prevent situations where engaged ad hoc staff would complain or protest about payment for their services after elections.

“We have received several complaints, not necessarily Bayelsa but in several places about ad hoc staff being short-changed.

“We know exactly what each ad hoc staff at every level is entitled to.

“What we have decided to do is that each ad hoc staff will get a letter of appointment, stating the details of the functions, entitlements and a procedure for complaint. In that way everybody will know what he or she is entitled to.

“What that means is that Electoral Officers (Eos) and others who have to pay ad hoc staff must be transparent because they know what they are entitled to.

“What will be embarrassing is for us to complete the election and hear in the news that ad hoc staff are demonstrating about their pay.”

Ibeanu added that the commission was working to avoid discrepancy between the number of registered voters before the election and after collation of results.

“We have tried to find out what the problem is and it seems that it comes from various sources.

“To solve the problem, the commission has decided that voter registry would be prepared for every collation centre the number of registered voters. It is going to come in the form of a table.

“For example, every Registration Area (RA) in a collation centre will get a table indicating registered voters per polling units under that RA and that table will be given to collation officers.

“It is from that table that he or she will extract the number of registered voters for each polling unit. The same thing will happen at the local government level and so on.

“This is critical because if there is an error in compiling register voter from EC8As at the RA collation, the error is aggregated upwards until you get to the state level. We want to avoid that.”

The national commissioner stressed the need to get the transportation arraignment right, especially in a state like Bayelsa with difficult terrain.

Ibeanu said that the success of any election depends on INEC’s capacity to ensure a viable transport system for logistics deployment

“One, we expect that you have started planning in advance to make sure that transportation is a deal done in this election,” he said.

He called for effective collaboration among staff in ensuring that they work as a team for the success of the state governorship election.


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