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#NigeriaElections2023: Voters Stranded As INEC Adhoc Staff Protest Non-payment Of Allowances In Lagos

By Adeshina Precious

Hundreds of voters were stranded at various polling units in Ward A in Ifako-Ijaiye Constituency in Lagos state as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) adhoc staff protest non-payment of allowances.

The Electoral officers who were gathered at Progress School formerly State High School also alleged poor logistics and unavailability of vehicles to convey them and the sensitive electoral materials to their polling units.

One of the protesters, a presiding officer in Polling Unit 017, Mrs Fashami said the adhoc staff are protesting against the non-payment of their allowance and poor logistics.

We are waiting for a bus to convey us to our polling units. The vehicles are not enough and the distance is not trekkable. The time is 11:20am and we are yet to commence accreditation.

Many of us here are yet to get their N3500 allowance. The supervisor has eloped with their allowance.

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The voters are at the various polling units but we are unable to go or move the electoral materials to them.”

In polling unit 008, Ward A, charity Junction, a voter, Victor John, alleged deliberate attempt to disenfranchised non- Yoruba speaking residents in the state.

He said, “The election officers abandon almost all the polling units in Ward A. We have been here since 8am to cast our votes but the officers are not here to commence the process.

The cited non-payment of allowances and absence of vehicles to convey them to the polling units.

They said they are holding a meeting while voting hours are running out.”

Another voter, Mike Arthur said he came all the from Ikorodu to cast his vote but was denied.

He said, “We have been standing on the queue since 7am. The INEC adhoc staff are nowhere to be found.

They are all gathered at the State High School protesting non-payment of allowances.

They said they are hindered by logistic issues and non-payment of 3500 transport allowance.

They are all there having a meeting while we are here sitting but are unable to vote.”
Reacting to allegations of disenfranchisement, a voter and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prince Adebola Ogunleye said it will be naive to allege APC of disenfranchising any section of the state.

He said, “It’s been seamless and the turnout has been commendable. The BVAS is working well.

We had initial challenge of relocating voters to other units but with the BVAS they are easily identified within 2mins.

For the non-payment of allowances to adhoc staff somebody needs to answer to that. The issue must be investigated and any officer found wanting must be made to face the consequences.

It will be naive for anyone to allege deliberate disenfranchisement of some section of the population.

This is Lagos state. It is diversified but for fear of failure, people will find an alibi.

Our party don’t determine when INEC will be at the polling units. It is an insult on us but we will look at it because we need the votes of every residents of the State regardless of tribe and ethnicity.”

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