A former National Youth Service corps member who served in Rivers State has complained that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) within the state has not paid him his allowances for partaking as an official within the conduct of the overall elections in 2019.
The ex-Corps member, who solely recognized himself as Babajide, mentioned he tried his finest to get the remuneration packages however was advised by an indigene to desist from demanding it as a result of it may put his life at risk.
Babajide mentioned he wouldn’t wish to reveal his full identify for safety causes.
He mentioned whereas others connected to work with him through the elections had been paid a part of their cash, he was not paid in any respect.
According to him, he lodged complaints on the native and state workplaces of INEC in Rivers, however his efforts had been futile.
He mentioned one of many women who labored with him through the elections had her leg damaged after an assault by political thugs.
Babajide who officiated for the INEC at Odiabidi and Okporowo within the Ahoada East native authorities space, on Thursday lamented that election malpractice, corruption, and political thuggery are the bane of excellent governance within the Nigerian society.
“It was about the last election in Rivers State; not only in that Odiabidi East and Okporowo. There are also other places that the Ad-hoc staff were not paid. When I went to make enquiries at the local government, the person in charge of the ward actually gave flimsy excuses. It got to a time that I saw that the man was tired. He also told me that it was the Head Office that did not respond to my plight. He was equally tired as many people were demanding their money to pay them.
“The official at the local government-led everybody involved to the state office. When I got there, I was angry but they asked me to come back. Before going, I asked the man from the local government to follow me and he did. He also helped in asking them questions. We checked the record and saw my name with others.
“I was particular with other people that worked with me. I was one of their executives when I was serving in the local government. Maybe out of appreciation, the LGI called me to come and participate in the conduct of elections in the state,” Babajide mentioned.
He additionally narrated how they had been attacked by hoodlums that brought on mayhem in Rivers State through the elections, including that quite a lot of Corps members within the state refused to officiate due to threats to their lives by thugs.
“The Corps members didn’t want to partake in conducting elections because of the information they had gotten. There was a lady I was attached to as the polling officer but I actually performed that task. On our way to the place, we were attacked by armed thugs. They ambushed us including the soldiers following us. We had to go back.
“During the presidential elections, everything was peaceful though we were under tension. Thugs were guarding us. But the elections went peacefully.
“When it got to the time of payment, they didn’t pay. But the LGI went to fight for them. I couldn’t reach the LGI again before I left for another community in the state to go and work. That was Eleme. When I heard that the corps members have been paid, I went to confirm and met the LGI. There he told me they would pay the rest. When I was not paid, I went to the local government to ask questions.
“When nothing happened, I went to the state office of the INEC. I told them I would expose them. But, till now, they have not paid me. One of the girls that worked with me that was also affected can testify to this. Her name is Comfort.
“Two others, Comfort and Daniel, and I as far as I know from my local government are the ones that have not been paid. The reason why I didn’t go further with it was that someone advised me to drop the case because they can kill people for even N1, 000 here. I decided that I would make the complaint elsewhere after leaving the state.”
A native of the area, who resides in Port Harcourt, Ms Comfort Lawrence, who corroborated the story, said she was paid N13,500 out of N30,000 agreed.
Comfort who worked with Babajide confirmed that he had not been paid, adding that she did not know why his name was omitted.
“At the time of elections, he performed very well. I worked with him directly being an ex-corps member but he was not paid after the elections. They were saying his name was not in the record or that his name was omitted.
“Actually, I was paid N13,500 but the amount I was supposed to collect, which was N30,000. Babajide was not paid at all. There was another guy at that time too,” Comfort mentioned