Following reports of the poor treatment of ad hoc staff for the postponed February 16 election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Osun State has paid over N60million as feeding allowance to staff.
INEC had postponed the February 16 elections few hours to the set time after all staff had mobilised to the various polling units with little or no arrangements made for accommodation and feeding of many.
The commission faulted logistical and operational challenges for the postponement of the elections to February 23.
According to the spokesperson for INEC in Osun State, Sayo Adedokun, the commission made the payment of N4,000 each to its over 15,000 ad hoc staff on Thursday.
“We have paid N4,000 each to all ad hoc staff in the state, numbering about 15,000,” she said on Friday.
Adedokun assured that the commission was now adequately prepared for tomorrow’s elections.
She said all electoral materials were at the local government headquarters in the state and would be moved to the Registration Area Centres later on Friday.
She stated that the commission would also hold a refresher course for all its presiding officers and assistant presiding officers prior to Saturday’s elections.
In a related development, to prove its preparedness for Saturday’s election, INEC has said it has distributed sensitive materials across the 23 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Benue.
Following the shocking postponement of last Saturday election, some held reservations about the February 23 elections, with suspicions that it would be postponed again. Such doubts ‘may’ be put to rest as the commission has begun the distribution of sensitive election materials in most states.
INEC Public Relations Officer (PRO), in Benue, Terkaa Andyar in a telephone interview with newsmen on Friday in Makurdi affirmed that distribution has been concluded in all LGAs.
He said “The last batch of the sensitive materials were dispatched to Gwer East and Konshisha LGAs around 10: 45 a.m. on Thursday.”
The PRO said the materials would be dispatched to various Registration Areas by the Electoral Officers in charge of the LGAs for onward distribution to wards and polling units. Adding that the materials were conveyed out of the state capital without hitches.
As at Thursday, the commission revealed that 19 states had completed deployment of electoral materials, while other states would complete their deployment today.
By Precious Akpadaka…