Hundreds of INEC ad hoc staff on Tuesday besieged the Bauchi South Local Government Area office of the Independent National Electoral Commission protesting the delay in non-payment of their allowances.
The protesters who started the protest march from Wunti area, were on the verge of barricading the ever-busy Ahmadu Bello way before a detachment of policemen were deployed to restore normalcy on the road.
The INEC ad hoc staff which consisted mainly of presiding officers of the presidential and governorship election shouted slogans such as “Pay us our money, it is long overdue”; “No Payment for presidential, Governorship and House of Assembly elections in Bauchi State”; “We have been used and dumped”; “Our colleagues in other states have been paid”;
The protesters maintained that they were not paid for the presidential, national assembly and governorship election along with other logistic allowances.
The spokesperson of the protesters Abubakar Mohammed confirmed that INEC ad hoc staff participated fully during the election, but were not paid their allowances, adding the commission has done nothing to address the situation.
He wondered why other ad-hoc staff of the commission in other states were paid N15,000-N20,000 each for logistics for camping, feeding and transportation and the commission is yet to pay in Bauchi State.
He said: “The process is fraudulent because some of our colleagues in the state were paid, but the presiding officers of the election have not been paid. The sad thing is that nobody is talking of how we would be paid again”
In a swift reaction to the development, the state INEC Public Relation Officer Aliyu Abubakar said that the commission had concluded arrangements to meet the ad hoc staff, adding that most of presiding officers during the election replaced corp. members who declined to do the job.
Aliyu said: “Initially we recruited corp. members as presiding officers, but many of them did not show up for the job, so we have already paid the allowances to NYSC. I am assuring that the commission will attend to the matter and they will all be paid”