… As INEC adhoc staff protest over allowances in parts of Lagos
As Nigerians exercise their franchise to vote for governors and lawmakers in various states across the country, indications are that administrative lapses relating to payment of allowances and low turnout of electorates trail the conduct of the exercise. Governorship election is taking place in 29 states of the federation.
For instance, in Lagos State, voting did not start on time in many areas across the state as INEC ad hoc staff did not arrive polling units as at 8am. The delay, sdnonline.net gathered was as a result of protest in some parts of Lagos by the ad hoc staff over non-payment of their allowances and poor welfare . While voters were already at the polling units, the protesting staff were still at the collection centres waiting for their payments. As at 10.30am in some areas, elections were yet to commence. This resulted in many of the electorate becoming restive due to the long wait. At the end of the day, many of the electorate did not turn out to vote.
In Alausa, the government’s secretariat, voting did not start as at 10.20am while voters were waiting for INEC ad hoc staff. The same situation played out at Iba, Meiran, Ojodu, Amuwo Odofin and parts of Agege. In Amuwo Odofin, the ad hoc staff carried placards demanding for their allowance. One of the placards read: “No 10k no work.” At Ogudu, INEC adhoc staff did not arrive until 3pm.
Meanwhile, the situation was different at Alimosho and Surulere local government areas where voters cast the ballot for their choice candidates. At Apapa area of the state, there was low turnout of voters compared to the 23 February presidential/NASS elections.
In some areas in Ifako/Ijaiye local government area of the state, ad hoc staff had to ring bell calling the electorate to come out and vote.
As experienced during the presidential and national assembly elections, movement was restricted across the country to allow citizens carry out their civic roles. It was also observed that portions of major roads were barricaded and manned by security personnel, mostly the military, while there were random police patrols on the roads. The roads were virtually devoid of vehicular like the Presidential and National Assembly elections, with the youths and teenagers converting the roads to football fields. In some areas, petty traders sold snacks, drinks and water to voters at the polling units.
Meanwhile, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos, Mr. Sam Olumekun however debunked any non-payment of allowances to corps members saying, “We have paid them their allowances. We don’t pay by cash but through their bank accounts..”