Corps members decry maltreatment, hoarding of sleeping mats
Some members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) engaged by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as ad-hoc staff for the general elections, have complained over what they described as poor treatment meted to them by the commission.
The aggrieved corps members, some of whom vented their frustrations on social media, bitterly complained about the “inhuman treatment’’ they were subjected to by the INEC officials during the botched presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled for last Saturday.
They lamented that many bundles of sleeping materials, especially mats, were found in INEC’s office in Kano on Saturday, yet corps members were made to sleep on bare floor amid the droning of mosquitoes despite the cold harmattan.
To their shock and dismay, when they proceeded to the INEC office before they were dispersed on Saturday, buckets, mosquito nets and mats were found stocked in a large room without its distribution to the ad-hoc staff they were meant for.
A corps member who pleaded for anonymity told The Guardian that at about 7:00p.m. on Saturday evening after the postponement of the elections, corps members threatened to shut down INEC headquarters in Kano due to no payment and poor welfare.
“We had made plans that Saturday evening to shut down INEC headquarters in Kano because we were poorly catered for. But to our surprise, we received a memo requesting everyone to be calm. Immediately, they made arrangement for our payment, which got to us at about 8:00p.m. that same night. We were each paid the sum of N1,000 and N4,500 as training and transport allowance respectively.”
Meanwhile, INEC has insisted it made adequate provisions to meet the welfare needs of corps members mobilised for last Saturday’s aborted elections. It said corps members who faced welfare challenges did so because the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in the states were unsure if the elections would take place as earlier scheduled.
INEC said the RECs were expecting the ‘Go Ahead’ signals from the Commission’s headquarters before releasing the welfare materials procured for use by the NYSC members mobilised for the elections. Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, said: “We made provisions for mattresses, mats, pillows, and toiletries. In some of the areas, probably, those materials weren’t mobilised in good time to get to the corps members. But, we are on top of the situation and the issues are been addressed at the moment.”