Tales of woe by members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) deployed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as ad-hoc workers nationwide for weekend’s botched elections continued yesterday.Many of the affected corps members told The Guardian that they were left helpless, having to sleep in the open, with some paying for shelter.
They also claimed that their deployment was without provision for transport. Thus the abrupt shift of the elections threw them into dilemma where they had to fend for themselves.One Jonathan (surname withheld), serving in Akwa Ibom, said he traveled all by himself to Ikono Council of the state. In a telephone interview, he said: “We were over 200 corps members who came separately to the centre as ad-hoc staff on Friday evening without any assistance from INEC.
“No transport allowance or accommodation was provided. They left us in an open field with no shelter, no food, but just four bags of water for over 200 corps members.”
He claimed the electoral body did not address them all through the night; hence they were stranded and helpless.The corps member, currently feverish on account of the inclement weather, is in Uyo, the capital, receiving medical attention.
Another victim, Taiye, serving in Idemili North Council of Anambra State, said he fared himself to Oraukwu on the eve of the shifted polls.Though he said they were sheltered, Taiye said, “they asked us to pay N100 to rent a small bed.”
On how they got food to eat, he retorted: “They did not feed us. I made some friends and so we went out to eat later in the evening.”On allowance, Taiye said INEC had promised to pay them N4,500 after their two-day training last week, but neither him nor his friends to got it.
Reliving his own ordeal from Iseyin, Oyo State, Odusoga said it never struck his wildest imagination that INEC could make them pass the night on bare floor and on empty stomach too without water after a one-half and hour drive to the agency’s office in Osogun. He said no official was on the ground to receive them, forcing them to hang outside the building till the next morning when the news of the postponement filtered into town. The corps member also confirmed the non-payment of his N4,500 training allowance after stating that he footed the expenses all alone.