Some members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), in Ikorodu, on Saturday, refused to release election materials used in their polling units over an alleged reduction in allowance the Lagos State Government had promised to pay.
The corps members, who served as ad hoc staff in the governorship and state of assembly elections, protested at the collation centre in Ijomu Primary School along Igbogbo road.
According to them, they said the state government promised them N20,000 for working with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the 2019 general elections, but claimed that their Electoral Officer, whose name was not revealed by the other officials, reduced the money to N5,000.
The corps members, totalling about 10, served at polling units around Aga/Ijomu in the Ikorodu area of the state.
They revealed that they had refused to work in the morning of the elections after being offered N5,000, but the EO appealed to them and promised to give them N7,000.
“After the elections around 4.00pm, the EO sent only N5,000 to us. We collected the money but said we will not release the electoral materials, including the card readers until our N2,000 balance each is paid,” one of them said.
Another member, said their colleagues in Ketu area of the state were paid N10, 000.
“Our friends in Ketu got N10,000 each apart from the N30,000 INEC paid us for you to know that we have a case. We know corruption is everywhere in Nigeria and we said alright, pay us N7, 000, yet the EO refused. He only paid us N5,000 and he has been dodging us,” he stated.
Ibukunoluwa, one of the corps member affected, said their mates in other polling units under the same EO, also protested before the election.
“We are not the only ones affected. Our mates in other polling units under this same EO also protested this morning. Infact, it was the reason elections did not start in most places in Ikorodu,” she disclosed.
“We only allowed the election results to be copied here at the collation centre, but what they don’t know is INEC could cancel elections in the polling units that the card readers are not returned.”
Their claims were confirmed when one voter told our reporter when he visited Ward 004, Erikorodo, Ikorodu, that elections did not start until 11.30am at the polling unit.
He had visited the polling unit at about 2:46pm and voting was still ongoing.
He said, “Voting is still on because election started around 11.30am. The INEC staff and corps members said they would not work until one allowance was paid.
“The Imota LCDA Chairman had to intervene. He paid them from his pocket so that voting could start and I think they later paid him back when someone later brought their money,” the voter claimed.
We could not verify how much they were paid at the time.
The chairman refused to comment on the incident when Newsbreak sought to confirm the claim from him.
He said he was at the polling unit to ensure that the voting process goes on smoothly.
Also, the INEC office in IIkorodu refused to comment on the development.
One of the officials said he could not speak on the matter because he was not aware of the fiasco.